24 March 2020

236th AAS Meeting Goes Virtual

Kevin Marvel

Kevin Marvel, American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Megan Donahue

Megan Donahue, Michigan State Univ.

AAS 236 BannersIn response to the coronavirus outbreak and the increasing steps being taken worldwide to limit the spread, the AAS Board of Trustees has decided to convert the 236th AAS meeting — originally scheduled 31 May to 4 June in Madison, Wisconsin — to a fully virtual conference, with both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous ways to participate.

While we were really looking forward to #AAS236 in Madison, we are nevertheless tremendously excited about the opportunities offered by holding the meeting online: to engage more astronomers than usual, to build a stronger sense of community, and to explore new ways to fulfill our mission to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.

The virtual meeting’s synchronous content will be presented Monday-Wednesday, 1-3 June 2020, and will include plenary talks, parallel oral sessions, iPosters (enhanced with a chat feature that allows live dialog with the presenter), iPoster-Plus sessions, press conferences, a virtual exhibit hall, and opportunities for small-group networking. All talks will be recorded for later access and, as usual, iPosters will be available shortly before, during, and after the meeting. Please note that splinter meetings will not be included in the online conference. We’ll share more details soon, including our plans for asynchronous participation.

We are also pleased to announce that we are waiving the “once in a lifetime” limit on dissertation talks. Any recent or pending PhD recipient who gives a virtual dissertation talk at AAS 236 will be allowed to repeat the presentation at a future in-person AAS meeting.

We will soon reopen our abstract system with an extended deadline for additional contributions from members who weren’t planning to travel to Madison but who will now be able to participate remotely. We will also announce new, reduced registration fees with options to participate only in the types of sessions you wish to access. Keep an eye on your in-box and the AAS website for updates and more information in the coming days and weeks.

We are optimistic that we can provide an engaging, meaningful, and valuable experience for everyone who chooses to participate in our virtual meeting, and we hope that includes you.

Meanwhile, all of us at the AAS wish you and your loved ones good health and safety as we struggle through this pandemic and look forward to the better days that surely lie ahead.

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