|Astronomy & Geophysics 45 (2) 2.41|
|From the Council of the RAS and Burlington House|
Free journal access
All RAS Fellows can now enjoy free access to the on-line editions of not only Astronomy & Geophysics, but also Monthly Notices and GJI. But you will not be able to read them if you have not registered. All Fellows who have advised Burlington House of their willingness to be contacted by email have been sent details of how to register. If you have not had these instructions, but want to register, please contact Blackwell Publishing (details at www.ras.org.uk/html/whatsnew/Journals04.html).
Specialist Discussion Meetings: call for proposals
The programme of Specialist Discussion Meetings for the 2004/5 season will be assembled over the summer. If you would like to propose a meeting, please contact Ian Howarth (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a title and a brief outline not more than three sentences.
The RAS provides the London venue, publicity, modest funding for overseas speakers, and all important infrastructure, leaving organizers only the task of constructing the scientific programme. Criteria for selection include topicality, breadth of interest, and the need to construct a balanced meetings programme overall. For further details see the website (www.ras.org.uk/html/meetings/sd_propose.html).
The RAS will always consider support for meetings outside London. The normal route to seek support is by applying for an RAS grant (see information at www.ras.org.uk/html/ras_grants.html), but requests for support for smaller meetings, normally one-day events, can be considered on an ad hoc basis.
RAS medals and awards
On 13 February 2004 the RAS announced the recipients of its Awards for 2004.
Jeremiah P Ostriker receives the Gold Medal (Astronomy) for his influential work in theoretical astrophysics, notably his early advocacy of the dark matter as a major constituent of the universe and his analysis of the interstellar medium.
Grenville Turner is awarded the Gold Medal (Geophysics) for his pioneering techniques of argonargon dating by stepped pyrolysis in meteorites that established their great age, and his continuing development of ultrasensitive techniques for geochemical analysis of terrestrial and extraterrestrial material.
Richard Harrison has the Chapman Medal for his outstanding contributions to understanding the nature of solar eruptive phenomena, especially the importance of coronal mass ejections and the impact of these eruptions on solar-terrestrial relations.
Patrick Wallace receives the Hannah Jackson (née Gwilt) Medal and Gift for his outstanding contributions to the development of precise, accurate, dependable and rigorous telescope pointing software.
Keith Horne is awarded the Herschel Medal for his development and application of astro-tomographic techniques, which have revolutionized our understanding of the accretion disks in cataclysmic variable stars.
Ian Corbett receives a new award for this year, The RAS Award for Service to Astronomy, for his exceptional services to astronomy, and for his outstanding promotion of the subject during his career while at SERC and PPARC.
The George Darwin Lectureship goes to Mike Edmunds, and the Harold Jeffreys Lectureship to James Jackson.
The Fowler Prizes, recognizing significant achievement early in a research career, have been awarded for the first time this year. James Reeves receives the Fowler Award (Astronomy) for his leading role in research in active galactic nuclei and g-ray burst observations.
Tim Horbury has the Fowler Award (Geophysics) for his pioneering work on magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, especially in the solar wind, based in Ulysses data but widely applicable in energetic particle transport and turbulence studies.
The Society has also announced the award of the following Associateships.
Russell Cannon of the Anglo-Australian Observatory, who has worked with the UK Schmidt telescope and the ground-breaking 2dF wide-field camera-spectrograph that has kept the AAO at the forefront of observational cosmology.
Malcolm Smith, Director of the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile, formerly at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh and the Joint Astronomy Center in Hawaii, and an early enthusiast for dedicated sky surveys.
Patricia Whitelock, Acting Director of the South African Astronomical Observatory, and active in physics teaching and the development of the South African Large Telescope project.
Kurt Lambeck, Professor of Geophysics at the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University who has used geophysics and especially geodesy to make sense of many aspects of the Earth's behaviour.
Hiroshi Matsumoto, Director of the Radio Science Centre for Space and Atmosphere (RASC), Kyoto, Japan, for research on nonlinear waveparticle interactions in space plasmas, and national and international leadership.
Fernando Sanso, Dean of the Engineering Faculty at the Politecnico di Milano, with a long and distinguished record of service to international science and especially the International Association of Geodesy.
Further details of these award-winners can be found on the website (www.ras.org.uk/html/whatsnew/Awards04.html) and many of them will be attending A&G Ordinary Meetings in the near future.
The Gold Medal of the RAS.
Room hire at Burlington House
The apartments at Burlington House are available at no charge to members of the RAS wishing to use them for Society business. Hire charges for use by other societies or by outside users are:
The Council Room seats 30. Has OHP/screen/35mm slide projector and LCD. Affiliated societies: £150 (for a full day) or £90 (half day). Other organizations: £180 (full day), or £100 (half day).
The Fellows Room seats 15. Used for catering or small meetings. All users charged £60 for full or part day.
The Herschel Room seats 20 and has OHP/screen/35mm slide projector and LCD. By other societies: £100 (full day) or £60 (half day). By other organizations: £120 (full day), or £90 (half day).
Note: Fellows holding meetings associated with Society business are not charged for use of any room, but this should be cleared with the Executive Secretary beforehand.
Contact: Colin Foster, Facilities Assistant. Tel: 020 7734 3307 or 020 7734 4582. Fax: 020 7494 0166. Email: email@example.com
The Council Room, available for free for Society business.
After ignoring all advice that I should take a first degree in physics, I completed a BSc in astronomy at St Andrews, followed by a PhD at Leicester on infrared observations and thermal emission models of asteroids. My involvement with space continued with my first PDRA contract at the University of Kent, which included analysis of data from Giotto's Dust Impact Detection System, together with supporting observations of comet Halley. This was followed by the Giotto Extended Mission to comet Grigg-Skjellerup and a minor role in the development of the design of the Cassini-Huygens Surface Science Package, now within a year of landing on Titan.
I have been fortunate that the collective efforts of many group members at Kent, and more recently, the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University, have provided me with the opportunity to work on a wide variety of missions from low Earth orbit to the outer solar system. I have analysed dust impact data from passive experiments returned from orbit (on LDEF and Eureca), as well as active experiments (GORID and Debie) to improve models of the near-Earth dust and space debris environment. I am a Co-Investigator on Stardust and am currently immersed in the fantastic and unexpected data from its recent flyby of Wild 2.
Future projects include the study of the Saturnian ring system with the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyser impact mass spectrometer later this year, and on a longer timescale, detailed cometary dust coma dynamics from Rosetta Giada. I am Science Team leader for SIMONE (Spacecraft Intercept Missions to Objects Near Earth), a mission study for ESA led by QinetiQ for a fleet of microsatellites using solar electric propulsion to rendezvous with various NEOs.
I have also conducted ground-based observations of NEOs, comets and Kuiper Belt Objects and hypervelocity impact studies for instrument calibration. I have represented the community on the ESA Solar System Working Group and Space Station User Panel and currently sit on PPARC's Solar System Sub-Panel.
Although my research has not extended further than the bounds of the solar system, I have written and taught several astronomy courses and I am currently developing projects for the first OU astronomy residential school, to be held in Majorca in September.
For relaxation I divide my time between bouts of DIY, participating at a mediocre level in a range of sports and supporting a mediocre Premier League (for now) football team.
I am Professor of Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, where I have worked since 1965. I became a Fellow of the RAS in 1968 and have been a Council member for the periods 198184, 198688 and 199194 (being a vice-president 1988/9). I edited the Quarterly Journal between 1980 and1985 and have been on the editorial board of Monthly Notices since 1994. I have also served on the Society's Instruments Committee and am a member of the Stonehenge Group.
I went to Sheffield immediately after reading for a DPhil at the University Observatory, Oxford, on the polarization of sunlight. I first became interested in astronomy after attending a second-year course given by Dr Martin Johnson in the physics department at the University of Birmingham. From a research standpoint I have concentrated on the minor bodies of the solar system, observing sporadic and shower meteoroids using a 17MHz radar on the nearby Pennine moors. This led to an investigation of the way in which meteoroid streams were produced by the decay of cometary nuclei. The mass distributions of dust, comets and asteroids were compared and this led to a study of the evolution of these objects as a function of time. I was a member of the camera and dust detection teams of the ESA Giotto spacecraft that flew by Halley's comet. This led to an interest in the work, life and times of Edmond Halley. Recently I have concentrated on the investigation of cometary populations and cometary decay and on the assessment of the impact rates of asteroids and comets to planetary surfaces.
I enjoy reviewing books, have written a book on the Star of Bethlehem, have had asteroid 4205 named after me, am married with two children and collect, among other things, livery buttons, railway trespass signs and Chinese porcelain.
The following were elected as Fellows of the Society on 13 February 2004:
Mr A M Barnett, Burton-on-Trent, Staffs.
Mr J Bolton, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.
Mr S L Braida, Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA.
Ms K Clube, Stevenage, Herts.
Dr F Diego, University of London Observatory.
Prof. G S Hall, Dept of Mathematical Sciences, University of Aberdeen.
Dr C Haswell, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, Open University.
Richard A Jones, Aberyshoyth, Ceredigion.
Dr J Loveday, Astronomy Centre, University of Sussex.
Mrs L Marques, Nunhead, London.
Dr D Mikulskis, DSTL, Farnborough, Hants.
Mr J N Murphy, Ebury Street, London.
Dr K G Orrell, Sidmouth, Devon.
Mr D Renshaw, Handforth, Cheshire.
Dr M D Reynolds, Jacksonville, Florida USA.
Ms A Rukavina-Walmesley, Old Kent Road, London.
Mr M Ruscoe-Pond, Coulsdon, Surrey.
Mr A Rushton, Sale, Cheshire.
Dr S Serjeant, Canterbury, Kent.
Mr J Silvester, Ongar, Essex.
Mr R Smith, Larkhall, Bath.
Mr O G Sweet, Croydon, Surrey.
Mr P Sydenham, Wansted, London.
Dr C E J Watt, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Dr V Yershov, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Surrey.
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