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The Future for the American Astronomical Society

Mercury Winter 2007 Table of Contents


By Kevin Marvel

The American Astronomical Society was founded in 1899, and, within its first year, 114 astronomers were active members. Since then, the Society has grown to more than 7,000 members and grown along the way from a completely volunteer-managed organization to one with a full-time Executive Officer and professional staff.

As I transition from Deputy Executive Officer, mainly responsible for public policy issues, to Executive Officer, responsible for all aspects of the Society, I am happy to accept an invitation from my long-time colleague and Mercury Editor Jay White to muse a bit on where the Society stands and where we might be going. Indeed, this article represents a humble attempt to summarize all the great accomplishments my predecessors, especially Peter Boyce and Bob Milkey, have accomplished and some thoughts about the Society’s future and its role in the field of astronomy.

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