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From the Executive Office

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 06:30

As I and the rest of the AAS Executive Office staff prepare the final details for the Boston meeting coming up 1-5 June, we are also looking ahead to 3-14 August 2015 for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in Honolulu. The General Assembly comes around once every three years, and it is a great honor for the US astronomy community to be hosting this next one. In the coming months the IAU will finalize the scientific program for the meeting, which is really the starting gun for our detailed logistical planning. By September 2014 we will have a website up and running for registration, abstract submission, lodging reservations, and general meeting information and details. We are getting all our contracts and plans in order for what I think will be a truly memorable and scientifically valuable General Assembly — and you can’t beat the location, lovely Hawaii, with lots of opportunities for recreation, tours of telescope facilities, chances to experience the welcoming Hawaiian culture, and the relaxing beaches.

I strongly encourage all US astronomers to plan now to attend this important scientific conference. Membership in the IAU will not be required to attend (nor will there be a registration rate difference), but only IAU members are able to participate fully in the detailed discussions of the divisions, commissions, working groups, program groups, and committees that help move our field forward worldwide.

For astronomers based in the US, an online application for IAU membership will be available in September around the same time that the main meeting webpage goes live. Some details are available now on the US National Committee of the IAU website. Astronomers join the IAU generally through their home-country national committees, but membership is also available directly to individuals. Details on joining the IAU can be found on the IAU website. However you join the IAU, doing so enables you to participate actively in the important projects and work that the IAU carries out.

If you missed our invitation video, you can check it out on the General Assembly homepage. It features AAS President David Helfand in a colorful shirt and former STSCI director and IAU past president Bob Williams sporting some awesome shades.

Kevin B. Marvel
Executive Officer
American Astronomical Society
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