Date sent: 24 May 2017, 16:55

From: Claus Leitherer (

Subject: Message from the President of Div. J

Dear Members of IAU Division J, Galaxies & Cosmology,

The members of the IAU Executive Committee and the Division Presidents had a very busy and productive meeting in Pune (India), following the kind invitation of Dr. Ajit Kembhavi. The IAU Secretariat in Paris will soon circulate a summary of the decisions that have been made. I would like to give you an early preview of some of the outcomes affecting our members.

At the meeting we discussed and ranked the proposed symposia and focus meetings to be held during and outside the General Assembly. The chosen meetings will be announced very shortly. I am happy to say that many of these meetings are of particular interest to Division J members. The coordinating Division of each symposium and focus meeting will closely interact with the respective SOC and provide support in policy questions and help with issues regarding diversity, inclusiveness and balance.

In the future, the registration fee for all IAU sponsored meetings inside and outside the General Assembly will be structured to provide a reduced fee to junior and retired astronomers.

We also selected the recipients of the IAU Ph.D. prize. From a strong field of newly minted Ph.D.’s, each Division chose their top candidates whose names will be announced shortly.

At the meeting in Pune we focused quite a bit on our junior colleagues. We discussed a specific membership category for early career astronomers, a mentoring program and the continuation of the round-table for young astronomers at the General Assembly.

It is our intention as well to organize another Women’s Luncheon in Vienna. This will be part of our continuing effort to increase the participation of women astronomers in IAU business and to significantly increase the fraction of female IAU members in the coming decade.

Finally, we decided to continue with the “Division Days” during the General Assembly. These are two full days whose program is at the discretion of each Division. All options are on the table, and we are asking for your suggestions. We could have a traditional set-up, like a mini-symposium, some structured round-table discussion on a hot scientific topic, or do some brain-storming on future directions, etc.

Please contact me or any member of the Steering Committee with your input.

Claus Leitherer
(President, Division J)


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