The list below provides the minutes of the so-called "Business Meetings" held yearly by the EAS Council with the representatives of the EAS Affiliated Societies. These meetings were called "Council Meetings" until 2008 (see article V.1 of the EAS By-laws).
Since 2012, the Business Meetings – held during the EWASS/JENAM conferences – were superseded by meetings held separately in Rolle, Switzerland at the beginning of each year. The Rolle meetings are inspired by the special meeting held in 2008 in Leiden, Netherlands.
Rolle 2013Astronomy in Europe: An Evolving Collaboration
Rolle, Switzerland, 24 - 25 January 2013
PresentationsPresentations of Affiliated Societies at the Rolle Meeting 2013:
Rolle 2012Astronomy in Europe: An Evolving Collaboration
Rolle, Switzerland, 1 - 2 February 2012
The EAS is working hard to increase its presence on the European Astronomical scene on which it uniquely represents the community of the researchers. These efforts include several on going actions like job market, the preparation of position papers, the Newsletter and the e-news to quote a few. They also include the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) as our yearly meetings have become known.
EWASS meetings are traditionally organised jointly between the EAS and a national society affiliated to the EAS. The set of the meetings have now become well established and include EAS symposia, special sessions and plenary talks. The quality of these meetings has become very high in the last years.
It is time to think about the evolution of the EWASS meetings and to make them become the natural scene on which the whole European astronomical community meets to take stance of the progress in the different astronomical fields and to work towards increasing and improving the continental collaborations.
The main aim of the meeting is to set the scene for this evolution. The goal of the EWASS meetings should be discussed as well as their structure and organisation together with the steps that must be taken by the EAS to reach this goal.
Presentations— Presentations of Affiliated Societies at the Rolle Meeting 2012:
Summary of the Rolle 2012 meeting of EAS affiliated societies
The meeting took place as planned in Rolle along the Lake Geneva February 1 in very cold conditions. The different societies presented themselves and some of their achievements, plans and the like.
A discussion on the relationship between ASTRONET and the EAS took place, following a presentation of ASTRONET. This discussion led to a clear understanding of the respective roles of EAS and ASTRONET and to the remark that EAS members must take their position seriously and use the opportunities that EWASS meetings offers them to develop and build a solid and constructive dialogue with European and intergovernmental organisations like ASTRONET, ESO, ESA, CERN and others.
A significant part of the discussions was taken by in depth considerations of the two major concerns of the EAS, namely the fact that many members of the active professional astronomical community, who are members of national astronomical societies, are not members of the EAS and the related fact that the resources of the EAS are too scarce for the society to be as active as it ought to.
Many constructive proposals were made to help resolve this difficulty. The RAS representatives proposing, for example, that members of national societies become on a quasi automatic way members of the EAS with a rather small yearly contribution. These proposals were intensely debated. Both the EAS council and the affiliated societies will consider them in depth.
EWASS meetings were also discussed at length. The purpose of the meetings and their present structure was largely found adequate and steps towards larger meetings, more representative of the community were also discussed. A number of concrete elements of the meetings to come were suggested and will be taken into considerations by organisers. The discussion on the evolution towards larger meetings led back to the issue of the funding of the society. It was clear that the EAS needs a budget of some 300'000 Euros per year to achieve its goals and that this must be well within reach of a community of some 10'000 professional astronomers and a number of organisational members.
EAS council members and officials from affiliated societies left with a number of issues to discuss and some rather concrete actions.
It is hoped that the Rolle meeting will be a step towards the construction of an effective European Astronomical community.
Thierry Courvoisier (President, EAS)
Leiden 2008Astronomy in Europe: An Evolving Collaboration
Leiden, Netherlands, 21 - 23 January 2008
Europe is in the special situation of the co-existence of a European and National Astronomical Societies. The particular situation of Europe and how it is coming together requires such a coexistence.
It is obviously important to coordinate the activities of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the national (Affiliated) societies in order to maximize the benefits for European Astronomy as a whole and for astronomical research in the individual countries.
The EAS organized this meeting to start an increased dialogue with its Affiliated Societies and invite them to a face-to-face meeting. The aims of the meeting were to:
PresentationsPresentations of Affiliated Societies at the Leiden Meeting 2008
Summary of the Leiden 2008 meeting of EAS affiliated societies
The European Astronomical Society (EAS) invited all its Affiliated Societies to a Workshop held in Leiden, at the Lorentz Center, from 21-23 January 2008, entitled: "Astronomy in Europe: An Evolving Collaboration", the first ever meeting of its kind.
The aims of the meeting were manifold: i) to exchange information of what role the Affiliated Societies currently play at a national and European level; ii) to discuss the role of the EAS, now and in the future; iii) to promote collaboration between National Societies, on a regional as well as European basis; iv) to design a model of cooperation between the EAS and Affiliated Societies which optimises the interaction and information flow between astronomers in the member states on the one hand, and pan-European institutes on the other; v) to work towards a Memorandum of Understanding which defines how the EAS and Affiliated Societies, by working together, can increase their effectiveness and visibility.
It is important to have a well functioning collaboration between the EAS and the national (Affiliated) Societies in order to gain maximum benefit for European Astronomy as a whole. This also means that the respective positions and tasks of the main players have to be well defined.
The 3-day meeting was held under the auspices of the European Astronomical Society and organised by its Secretary on behalf of EAS Council. The local organisation was in the able hands of the staff of the Lorentz Center and Prof. Harm Habing (Leiden Observatory) acted as local contact person.
In total 38 participants, predominantly presidents or secretaries representing 23 Affiliated Societies plus the entire EAS Council participated in what turned out to be an extremely useful event. The meeting opened with a talk by Peter Barthel, the chair of the Program Board for Astronomy of the Lorentz Center who presented the mission statement of the Lorentz Center and encouraged the community to consider making use of its excellent facilities.
The main topic of the first day was a presentation and discussion of the EAS position paper. The second day was devoted to presentations by each of the Affiliated Societies. If one thing stood out of those presentations it was the enormous diversity in scope and purpose of the various societies. Some are strictly set up for professional astronomers, others count large numbers of amateur astronomers among their members. Some societies are active players on the astro-political scene, whereas others fulfill a more social need. Clearly, there is strength in this diversity and it will be up to the EAS to harness this and put to good use. On an individual basis, representatives of the societies present were able to exchange experiences and set up bilateral agreements for further collaboration.
The final day was used to highlight the services currently offered by the EAS and to explore ways to improve the communication between the EAS and its Affiliated Societies, and between the societies. Part of the discussion was devoted to the proposed changes to the EAS Constitution and Bye-Laws.
The workshop has been a resounding success and EAS Council is now working hard on the implementation of several of the suggestions which were endorsed by the Affiliated Societies. Astronomy in Europe is blessed with a diverse community. It is up to the EAS, in partnership with the National Societies, to encourage and promote collaboration among all participants, to the benefit of its membership and of the European community as a whole.
Elias Brinks (Secretary, EAS)
Thierry Courvoisier (Vice-President, EAS)
Anne Dutrey (Treasurer, EAS)
Joachim Krautter (President, EAS)
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