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Associations and Affiliations


The Society has formal associations with a number of organizations having shared interests, or offering benefits to RAS members, and has less formal arrangements with several other bodies.


The Society has a Memorandum of Understanding or other formal arrangement with the following (scroll down for links):

  • European Astronomical Society
  • International Astronomical Union
  • International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
  • International Union of Radio Science
  • Institute of Physics
  • Geological Society of London
  • British Geophysical Association
  • Astrophysical Chemistry Group 
  • Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) Group
  • UK Planetary Forum
  • Astroparticle Physics Group
  • UK Solar Physics Group
  • Astrobiology Society of Britain
  • British Sundial Society
  • Society for the History of Astronomy
  • Antiquarian Horological Society


In addition the Society is a corporate member of:

* of which it is a Trustee


There are more informal relations with other organisations including:

  • Association for Astronomy Education (AAE) The AAE promotes public education in Astronomy and supports the teaching of Astronomy to students at all levels of education. The RAS endorses the aims of the AAE.
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU) The EGU was established in September 2002 by the European Geophysical Society and the European Union of Geosciences. The RAS was formally affiliated to the EGS, and continues to enjoy a fraternal relationship with the EGU.
  • The UK Space Academic Network (UKSPAN) is an independent space community forum/lobby group of about 20 space-interested groups, including space astronomy hardware groups and some others with Earth Observation interests, and the NERC Earth Observation Institutes.  It makes representations to OSI, BNSC and Research Councils on behalf of its community.


Formal Arrangements exist with:

  • Astroparticle Physics Group The IoP Group, on which the RAS has formal representation, encompasses topics such as direct and indirect detection of dark matter, high energy cosmic ray studies, neutrinoless double beta decay, cosmological neutrinos and nuclear astrophysics.
  • Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) was formed in 1953  to promote the study of clocks and watches and the history of time measurement in all its forms.
  • The Astrophysical Chemistry Group The Astrophysical Chemistry Group is jointly sponsored by the RAS and the Royal Society of Chemistry. It draws together astronomers and chemists who have an interest in fundamental chemical problems arising in molecular astrophysics, most especially in star-forming regions. The group holds several meetings each year.
  • British Geophysical Association (BGA) The RAS cosponsors the British Geophysical Association (BGA) with the Geological Society.
  • The British Sundial Society (BSS) The British Sundial Society aims to advance the education of the public in the art and science of gnomonics and the knowledge of all types of sundial; to catalogue and advise on the restoration of sundials that still exist in the British Isles; and to research their history.
  • European Astronomical Society (EAS) The RAS affiliated in 1993, and membership is available at reduced rates for RAS Members. Membership details can be obtained from the Membership Secretary at Burlington House. Contributions to the EAS can be paid with the RAS contributions, details of which are sent out by mid November each year.
  • Geological Society of London The Geological Society has close links with the RAS, and regularly cosponsors scientific meetings. The Geological Society offers RAS Fellows the following benefits:
    • Personal subscriptions to Geoscientist for £25
    • 40% discounts on the extensive GSL book list
    • Free access to the GSL Library
    The RAS offers comparable concessions to GSL Fellows.
  • The Herschel Museum The Trustees of the Museum include an RAS representative. Fellows are eligible for discounted admission (members only section of the website).
  • Institute of Physics (IoP) In 1992 the RAS and IoP signed an agreement (revised 2004) for reciprocal membership privileges. This means that members of the RAS:
    • who are also members of the IoP will have both their subscriptions reduced by 25%
    • may register at meetings at IoP rates.
    • may subscribe to IoP journals at IoP members rates
    • will exchange representatives on their respective Education Committees
    • In addition RAS members may be affiliated to IoP branches and take part in their activities
  • International Astronomical Union (IAU) The RAS is the UK National Member of (formerly Adhering Body to) the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The IAU was founded in 1919 to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international co-operation. With now over 8,300 individual members and 66 Adhering Countries worldwide, the IAU plays a key role in promoting and coordinating worldwide cooperation in astronomy. The IAU is also the sole internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and surface features on such bodies.
  • International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), founded in 1919, is dedicated to the international promotion and coordination of scientific studies of Earth (physical, chemical, and mathematical) and its environment in space. It is comprised of eight semi-autonomous Associations. The RAS has agreed to contribute to the costs of UK adherence to IUGG.
  • International Union of Radio Science (URSI)  was established in 1919 to cover the discipline of radio science.Specifically to promote and organise research requiring international co-operation; to encourage the adoption of common methods of measurement; and to stimulate and co-ordinate studies of the scientific aspects of telecommunications using electromagnetic waves. The RAS contributes to the costs of UK involvment in URSI and  is represented on the UK Panel for URSI
  • Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) Physics MIST is an informal community of UK-based scientists who study the ionosphere and magnetosphere and the ionized space in the immediate vicinity of Earth (sometimes known as `geospace'), together with solar-terrestrial relations, i.e., the influence of the solar wind and solar radiation on the plasma of geospace, and hence indirectly on the Earth itself. Regular bi-annual meetings are organized: a one-day meeting in London in the autumn, sponsored by the RAS, and a two-day out-of-town meeting each spring. Reports of meetings are published in Astronomy & Geophysics. 
  • The UK Planetary Forum The UK Planetary Forum was established in 1997 with the aim of encouraging and promoting planetary research and related activities within the UK. Co-sponsored by the RAS, its scope includes all non-solar and non-terrestrial solar-system science, such as planetary geology, atmospheres, magnetospheres, photogrammetry, as well as studies of meteorites, comets, asteroids, Kuiper-Belt objects and extra-solar planets. Regular meetings are organized, with reports being published in Astronomy & Geophysics.
  • The Society for the History of Astronomy (SHA)  Promoting academic, educational and popular interest in the history of the science of astronomy and related subjects. The SHA and the RAS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • The Astrobiology Society of Britain  exists to facilitate communication between those involved in the science of astrobiology in the UK.
  • UK Solar Physics Group Issues regular electronic newsletters, and holds meetings cosponsored by the RAS.