ann15013 — Announcement

Commissions Joined by IAU Members
19 May 2015
Sign-up for Approved Commissions: Results and Commission Membership

The first step towards the establishment of the Commissions recently approved by the Executive Committee has been completed as planned.

The number of members having participated to the vote is 2237, or 24% of the Individual Members listed in the IAU Directory (9270).

The results and the membership for each Commission can be accessed on this web page:

(also accessible from the IAU home page top menu: Science -> Scientific Bodies -> Post-GA Commissions).

To avoid confusion with the current list of Commissions, which will continue until the last day of the GA in Honolulu, we have called them the "Post-GA Commissions".

The first page lists these Commissions, in three groups:

  • Regular Commissions
  • Inter-Division Commissions
  • Cross-Division Commissions

The last column ("Page") gives access to the individual Commission pages, which look exactly like the usual Commissions pages, with the name of the Commission President, the number of members, and the relevant Divisions.

Clicking on "Members" will give, as usual, the list of members of the Commission.

Clicking in turn on the names will give their profiles in the IAU Directory. It is important to note, however, that the link to the Post-GA Commissions is NOT activated, because these Commissions do not legally exist for the moment. The link will be activated after Honolulu (updated with the Organizing Committee members), and the corresponding link to the current Commissions de-activated at the same time.

The overview of the tally of Commissions, sorted by alphanumeric code, is given in the Table below.

Commission   votes
C.A1 Astrometry ( Division A ) 160
C.A2 Rotation of the Earth ( Division A ) 66
C.A3 Fundamental Standards ( Division A ) 79
C.A4 Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy (Divisions: A; F) 153
C.B1 Computational Astrophysics ( Division B ) 194
C.B2 Data and Documentation ( Division B ) 178
C.B3 Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics ( Division B ) 174
C.B4 Radio Astronomy ( Division B ) 396
C.B5 Laboratory Astrophysics ( Division B ) 121
C.B6 Astronomical Photometry and Polarimetry ( Division B ) 119
C.B7 Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites (Divisions: B; C) 43
C.C1 Astronomy Education and Development ( Division C ) 156
C.C2 Communicating Astronomy with the Public ( Division C ) 178
C.C3 History of Astronomy ( Division C ) 127
C.C4 World Heritage and Astronomy ( Division C) 59
C.D1 Gravitational Wave Astrophysics ( Division D ) 129
C.E1 Solar Radiation and Structure ( Division E ) 139
C.E2 Solar Activity ( Division E ) 159
C.E3 Solar Impact throughout the Heliosphere ( Division E ) 110
C.F1 Meteors, Meteorites, and Interplanetary Dust (Division F) 104
C.F2 Exoplanets and the Solar system ( Division F ) 295
C.F3 Astrobiology ( Division F ) 156
C.G1 Binary and Multiple Star Systems ( Division G ) 253
C.G2 Massive Stars ( Division G ) 177
C.G3 Stellar Evolution ( Division G ) 271
C.G4 Pulsating Stars ( Division G ) 181
C.G5 Stellar and Planetary Atmospheres ( Division G ) 207
C.H1 The Local Universe ( Division H ) 292
C.H2 Astrochemistry ( Division H ) 157
C.H3 Planetary Nebulae ( Division H ) 69
C.H4 Stellar clusters throughout Cosmic Space and Time (Divisions: H; G, J) 183
C.J1 Galaxy Spectral Energy Distributions (Divisions: J; D,G,H) 147
C.J2 Intergalactic Medium ( Divisions: J; B, H ) 89
C.X1 Supermassive Black Holes, Feedback and Galaxy Evolution ( Cross-Divisions: D, J ) 294
C.X2 Solar System Ephemerides ( Cross-Divisions: A, F ) 83


In addition, this graph gives the statistics of how many members selected one, two or three Commissions: one-third of the members selected one or two Commsisions, two-thirds the maximum of three.

A few concluding remarks are in order:

  1. The number of sign-up votes is quite close to the final results of the "Expression of Interest" ( So this preliminary vote, also limited to a choice of three Commissions, gave a good preview of the size of the post-GA Commissions.
  2. The relations between Divisions and Commissions will completely change — that was an expected result of the Commission reform. The Commissions will be entirely composed of "actors" committed to make them more efficient and to serve the community, for instance by creating (or re-creating) Working Groups dedicated to various tasks of scientific or public interest.
  3. This also means that compared to most current Commissions, the membership has considerably decreased. After Honolulu, about 75% of the IAU members will not belong a Commission. This implies that the Divisions will have to take particular care in "keeping their members on board" and encourage interactions and networking (e.g. via Newsletters or other means of communication). Commissions or Working Groups may also be created by this community in the future.
  4. The new Commission structure will stabilise during the new triennium, perhaps new proposals will emerge, guided by the new Division Steering Committees — which, let’s recall, will comprise all (future) Commission Presidents as ex-officio members.



Thierry Montmerle
IAU General Secretary / Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58

Madeleine Smith-Spanier
IAU Database Manager/Assistant
Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58

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Commissions Joined by IAU Members