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IAU Issues Call for Proposals for Commissions

Monday, June 23, 2014 - 21:36

The following announcement is posted on behalf of IAU General Secretary Thierry Montmerle:

At its last General Assembly in Beijing in August 2012, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to reorganize its Divisions and Commissions to better reflect current major research areas in astronomy and to better support the IAU’s new initiatives in development, education, and outreach. The first phase of this restructuring is now complete, with all IAU members now belonging to one or more of nine (formerly 12) topical Divisions. The next step is to reorganize the Commissions, through which much of the work of the IAU and its Divisions is conducted on specific scientific or organizational issues.

A formal call for proposals for IAU Commissions is now available. These can either be new Commissions or existing Commissions re-applying for approval. An online submission form is accessible to IAU members (you'll need to log in with your IAU username and password), as well as a PDF with full details and guidelines for responding to the call. Proposal submission will be in two phases:

  • Letters of intent, due by 15 October 2014
  • Full proposals, due by 31 January 2015

Up to the latter deadline, IAU members will have the opportunity to express their preference for proposed Commissions by an indicative electronic poll. The rationale for a two-phase process is to help optimize the set of proposed Commissions by providing opportunities to identify and correct any significant omissions or overlaps, either coming from the proposers themselves or on the advice of the Division Presidents or the IAU Executive Committee. The letters of intent will be posted on the IAU website, and the outcomes of the indicative poll will be made available to IAU members prior to the full proposal deadline.

We would like to have the largest possible community involved in this unprecedented opportunity to propose an IAU Commission. The IAU Executive Committee believes this process for renewing the Commissions is a unique opportunity, never offered previously, to innovate and engage the future. The Commission reform aims at making the IAU, as it nears its 100th anniversary, more responsive to its members, and in particular to its younger generation, as well as more effective and relevant in a constantly evolving scientific and societal environment.

Please consult the IAU website regularly. Important announcements, not only about the Commission reform, but also about various topics of general interest for the community, are frequently issued.

Norio Kaifu
IAU President
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo

Thierry Montmerle
IAU General Secretary
Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France

Richard Tresch Fienberg
AAS Press Officer