The ideal European Astronomical Society
Farewell message from the EAS President
The ideal European Astronomical Society that I think astronomers in Europe and in the world need is the home of all professional astronomers on the continent, from the Azores to Kamtchatka. It is strongly present in the circles that shape science in Brussels and has a solid foot in Moscow, it provides an efficient link between the communities on the eastern and western parts of the continent. ▸ Read more
It is a privileged interlocutor on the world astronomical scene. That Society publishes position papers that shape the thinking of astronomers and in the whole scientific community. It runs yearly meetings which serve to share recent observations and insights on the physics of all sorts of cosmic objects, from planets around the Sun to quasars and other high energy emitters. It shares a number of interests with the physicists for example in gravitation and cosmology. This ideal society runs the professional journal in which most research papers are published in Europe. The yearly meetings of the Society also serve as a platform on which the policies of the different actors of the community, the astronomers, but also their funding agencies and the European and national authorities, are debated and elaborated.
The EAS that we know today came quite some way in the direction of this ideal organisation. It was founded in the wake of the opening of the Eastern parts of the continent to international collaboration, its members come from most countries between Portugal and Russia. The EAS published some position and opinion papers, in particular one on open publishing that rings very true in the ongoing discussions. It shaped its yearly meetings, now called EWASS, so that a significant fraction of the community meets to discuss research and policies. It has just established a presence in Brussels and it runs an electronic job directory. It is served by a small but dedicated staff in Geneva, that is in the process of being reinforced, and by an enthusiastic and competent council.
EWASS 2017, 26-30 June, Prague
More than 1100 astronomers will convene later this month
With currently 1116 registered participants, the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2017 promises to become a lively and fruitful meeting in Prague, a historical center for European astronomy. Through the EWASS 2017 website the rich scientific programme based on 16 Symposia and 21 Special Sessions can be consulted, also interactively. Over 300 invited talks and about 400 contributed talks constitute the oral programme of the meeting, and over 400 posters will be displayed at the venue. Several plenary talks are scheduled, including those of the Tycho Brahe Prize and the Woltjer Lecture awardees, as well as the three MERAC prize winners (see below). ▸ Read more
EWASS 2017 will host a Press Office; it is our ambition to provide a prominent scientific forum to highlight the recent advances in astronomy and space science, and to give the opportunity to present important scientific breakthroughs and to release these to the international press. Also on behalf of Jan Palous and Cyril Ron, the EAS welcomes you to Prague. We are looking forward to a great meeting.
EWASS 2018, 3-6 April, Liverpool
Proposals for Symposia and Special Sessions due 14 July 2017
The preparations have started for the EWASS 2018 meeting, hosted by Chris Collins (SOC chair) and Matt Darnley (chair EWASS hosting committee), in collaboration with the Royal Astronomical Society. The ACC in Liverpool is a world-class conference center, located on the banks of the river Mersey, and in short walking distance of the city center. The SOC is inviting proposals for Symposia and Special Sessions, deadline 14 July 2017. Note that this year the EWASS 2018 meeting takes place in the week following Easter, rather than during the last week of June, as Vienna is hosting the IAU General Assembly from 20 to 31 August.
Tycho Brahe Prize 2017 to Bernard Delabre
Tycho Brahe Prize to be awarded at the EWASS meeting in Prague
The 2017 Tycho Brahe Prize is awarded to Mr Bernard Delabre in recognition of his leading role in the optical design of astronomical telescopes, cameras and spectrographs over the past 40 years. ▸ Read more
The first major achievement of Bernard Delabre was the design of the ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (EFOSC) in the 1980s. EFOSC revolutionised astronomy by providing a wide achromatic field and a collimated beam for spectroscopic elements. His design for EFOSC exploited the development of new glass materials and novel optical components. With the ability to simply insert a grism or a waveplate to perform spectroscopy or polarimetry, astronomers had a direct view of the object through the slit while reconfiguring the instrument for another mode. This saved thousands of hours of observing time by making target acquisition a robust process. EFOSC has been widely copied both directly and as a concept to be further evolved for instruments in many ground based observatories worldwide. Another ingenious design of Bernard Delabre was the ESO Multi-Mode Instrument (EMMI), which was the first truly multi-mode camera combining low, intermediate resolution and cross-dispersed echelle spectroscopy with imaging.
The design of telescopes, long confined to one of Cassegrain, Gregorian or Ritchey- Chretien solutions, was another challenge for Bernard Delabre. For the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), he invented a beautiful five-mirror solution to meet the stringent constraints for such a 1000-m2 class telescope. This design made a 42-m E-ELT technically feasible by providing an aberration-free field, an adaptive mirror conjugated close to the ground, and an intermediate focus. It is also telecentric at all locations of the focal plane without the need for a corrector.
Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture 2017 to Bengt Gustafsson
Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture to be awarded at the EWASS meeting in Prague
The 2017 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture is awarded to Prof. Bengt Gustafsson for his rich scientific career on the theory of stellar atmospheres, the interpretation of stellar spectra, and the chemical evolution of galaxies. ▸ Read more
Bengt Gustafsson has worked extensively on the theory of stellar atmospheres, the interpretation of stellar spectra, on the chemical evolution of galaxies, and, more recently, on the early history of the Sun. He has published about 400 scientific papers some of them related to seminal studies leading to significant advances as attested by some 15?000 citations. He has also written a number of popular articles and books, and has contributed on philosophical and science-policy issues. He has served in various prestigious national and international committees, such as the Nobel Committee of Physics, the ESO Council, and the astronomy/space science panel of the European Research Council (ERC). He was the chairman of the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science in the framework of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
MERAC Prizes 2017 to Selma de Mink, Kevin Schawinski and Emmanuel Hugot
MERAC Prizes to be awarded at the EWASS meeting in Prague
At the EWASS 2017 meeting in Prague, the 2017 MERAC Prizes for the Best Early Career Researchers will be awarded. The winner in the category Theoretical Astrophysics is Prof. Selma E. de Mink for her major contributions to our understanding of the role of binarity as one of the dominant physical parameters for massive stars. The winner in the category Observational Astrophysics is Prof. Kevin Schawinski for groundbreaking work on the galaxy - black hole connection and innovative use of citizen science in astrophysics. Finally, the laureate in the category New Technologies is Dr Emmanuel Hugot for his unique and pioneering work on innovative astronomical instrumentation, based on active systems, freeform optics and curved focal planes. ▸ Read more
The FOUNDATION MERAC (Mobilising European Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology) is a non-profit foundation started in 2012 with headquarters in Switzerland to recognise and support young European astronomers. There are yearly three MERAC Prizes awarded by the European Astronomical Society. The prizes of 20,000 Euro are for each of the three categories (Theoretical Astrophysics, Observational Astrophysics, and New Technologies). The prizes alternate by year for Best Early Career Researcher Prizes (on odd years), and Best Doctoral Thesis Prizes (on even years). The awardees are also eligible for further support from the FONDATION MERAC.
Kevin Schawinski has made major advances in the observational understanding of the feedback exerted on a galaxy by outflows from an active, super-massive back hole at its centre. He also used stellar evolution to build phenomenological models of galaxy evolution. Using stars as cosmic clocks, he constrained the phases in the evolution of galaxies during which their central black holes become active as quasars. He showed using observations that while many disk galaxies, like our Milky Way, cease their star formation activity very slowly over billions of years, some galaxies whose morphology was transformed by a major galaxy merger to an elliptical shape shut down their star formation very quickly. The most plausible cause for this sudden end of star formation is that a very brief active phase by the black hole destroys the gas reservoir used as fuel for star formation. As a co-founder of the Galaxy Zoo project he involved several hundred thousand citizen scientists to classify nearly a million galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The discovery of the famous "Hanny's Voorwerp" by a Dutch school teacher taking part in Galaxy Zoo became a prototypical system for quasar ionisation echoes tracing the past energetic output of central black holes. Kevin Schawinski showed that such echoes limit the duration of a typical quasar phase to only a few hundred thousand years.
Royal Society Publishing photography competition
One of the five categories devoted to astronomy
Following up on the success of last year, a new edition of the Royal Society Publishing photography competition is organised. The competition is run in collaboration with the journals and celebrates the power of photography to communicate science and the role images play in making science accessible to a wide audience. This competition is split into 5 categories, including astronomy, and is free to enter. ▸ Read more
The overall winner will receive a prize of £500 (or currency equivalent) and winners of the categories not chosen as the overall winner will receive £250 (or currency equivalent). The closing date for entries is 31 August 2017. Full details can be found here.
IUPAP Young Scientist Medals in the field of Astrophysics
Call for nominations due 15 June 2017
The IUPAP Young Scientist Medals of 2016 and 2017 and Awards of 1,000 EUR will be awarded for two scientists working in the field of astrophysics. The winners will be invited to give a presentation of scientific achievements at the 28th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics (3-8 December 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa). ▸ Read more
The nominated candidate must not have completed more than eight years of research after their doctorate by December 2016 and 2017, respectively. Interruptions for military service, family emergencies, etc., (but not teaching) are allowed. One Medal cannot be shared between several candidates.
The documents must be collated into a single pdf file called Surname_ysm.pdf, where Surname is the candidate's name. The file must not exceed 2MB in size.
Nominations not conforming to these rules cannot be accepted.
The Medal winners will be selected by a committee composed of the members of the IUPAP Astrophysics Committee (C19).
Nominations should be sent on or before 15 June 2017 to the Chair of IUPAP C19 Grazina Tautvaisiene by e-mail grazina.tautvaisiene @ tfai.vu.lt.
Reminder: EAS membership fees 2017
Please pay due fees
The EAS is a society of professional astronomers. Through your membership you strengthen the voice of European astronomy, support the various EAS activities and enjoy many benefits. We thank our members who paid already the 2017 fees, which are essential for the running of the society. If you have not paid them yet, please do so now. Many thanks!
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