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Committees

The Treasurer (Chair) plus 4-5 Fellows with relevant expertise. The Executive Secretary and Accountant attend all meetings; the Investment Manager and Auditors attend by invitation.

 




Committee on Diversity in Astronomy and Geophysics (CDAG)

Membership

A Fellow (Chair) and ca. 4 members, plus the 'A' or 'G' Secretary

Term of Appointment

Officers/Councillors serve for the duration of their office; others for 3 years, with the option of a further renewal of 3 years)

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

 

1. To support and represent the interests of under-represented groups in the RAS.
2. To ensure that diversity issues are considered within the operations and working practices of the RAS and that best practise is implemented and promulgated.
3. To advise Council on the formulation and implementation of strategies to assist in widening access to astronomy and geophysics by groups that are under-represented in these areas
4. To monitor and assist in issues of retention and career progression in astronomy and geophysics with the aim that all scientists should have equal career opportunities.
5. To improve the diversity of the membership to better reflect the community as well as wider society.
6. To liaise with groups with similar aims from other societies, such as the Institute of Physics Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Operation

At least yearly meetings

 

 

Education and Outreach Committee

Membership

A Chair who must be a Fellow, and up to six members
Ex-officio members:  RAS Executive Secretary, Deputy Executive Secretary, plus one representative from STFC, IoP, OFSTED, the Bradford & Faulkes Telescopes and the National Schools Observatory.

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

The aim of the Education and Outreach Committee is to encourage and support engagement in astronomy and geophysics ( A&G) in schools and with the general public by
-  maintaining, improving and publicizing the RAS education resources database
-  recommending candidates to Council for the RAS teaching award
-  supporting teacher training for GCSE Astronomy
-  facilitating talks by professional scientists to school students and the general public
-  ensuring the maintenance of  a publicly accessible  database of forthcoming outreach activities in A&G
-  supporting  such other projects (usually in cooperation with other organisations) consistent with the aims and resources of the committee

 

 

Finance Committee

Membership

The Treasurer (Chair) plus 4-5 Fellows with relevant expertise. The Executive Secretary and Accountant attend all meetings; the Investment Manager and Auditors attend by invitation.

Term of Appointment

The Treasurer and any Officers/Councillors serve for the duration of their office; others for 3 years, with the option of a further renewal of 3 years.

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

Act of behalf of the council on such matters as the council delegates to it, from time to time.

Perform the following functions: 
a. Ensure that adequate records of the assets, liabilities, receipts and disbursements are being maintained. 
b. Review the Operations Plan, including Incoming/Outgoing Resources and Reserves (Unrestricted and Restricted)
c. Review the objectives and structure of Management Reports. 
d. Review the performance of the Society's Investment funds, as reported by the Investment Manager, and, as necessary and desirable and in accordance with the prescribed objectives, to make recommendations to the Council regarding any changes to the benchmarks, asset mixes, risk characteristics, management objectives, investment manager, etc. 
e. Ensure compliance with statutory requirements for external reporting, as applied by the Charity Commission. 
f. Ensure compliance with H.M. Revenue & Customs V.A.T. requirements.
g. Review the Society’s Risk Analysis.
h. Seek to maintain and improve the financial health of the Society. 
i. Consider and make recommendations to Council, on matters referred to the Committee in relation to the Society's Pension Schemes. 
i. Advise the Council on such other matters, as it deems appropriate. 
j. Liaise with other committees re income generation and expenditure.

Operation

Two meetings are held, in April and November. One or two additional meetings are held during the year. The Accountant prepares the agenda. The main item of business, in November, is the Investment Manager’s report, while in April the main item of business is the previous year's draft Annual Accounts. The business at the additional meetings is variable according to circumstances. The Operations Plan is tabled at each meeting.

 

 

Grants Committee

Membership

The Treasurer (Chair) and ca. 4 members plus the Senior Secretary and Executive Secretary

Term of Appointment

 The Treasurer and any Officers/Councillors serve for the duration of their office; others for 3 years with the option of a further renewal of 3 years)

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

1.To supervise the repairs and upkeep of the Society's apartments at Burlington House.

2.To monitor Health & Safety provision, including provisions for fire and security protection.

3. To approve the purchase of furnishings, fittings, etc.

Operation

Yearly meeting (ca. February) to carry out an inspection of the Apartments and to propose a Repairs and Maintenance Budget to Council

 

 

Library Committee

Membership

ca. 5 members (including Chair), plus the Librarian and a Secretary

Term of Appointment

Officers/Councillors serve for the duration of their office; others (excluding co-optees) for 3 years with the option of a further renewal of 3 years.

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

1. To supervise the management of the Library (including Archives) to ensure the annual library budget (which is recommended to Council) represents value for money and delivers valuable services to members

2. To recommend to Council changes to the Library Regulations as necessary.

3. To approve the acquisitions policy, including journal subscriptions.

Operation

At least two meetings per year.

 

 

Membership Committee

Membership

At least 2 from Council (including the Chair) plus at least one woman, one 'young' and one 'G' Fellow. The interests of amateurs should also be considered. The Treasurer, Secretaries, and Deputy Executive Secretary attend as required.

Term of Appointment

Officers/Councillors serve for the duration of their office; others (excluding co-optees) for 3 years with the option of a further renewal of 3 years).

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

1. Regularly review and make recommendations to Council to improve the recruitment and retention of members.

2. Review and where possible improve RAS services to members.

3. Manage the membership route of direct application to Council.
Operation

Meet at least twice yearly

 

 

International Committee

Membership

Chair ( preferably a member of Council), representative of Membership Committee,  upto 7 fellows including at least 2 based outside the UK and Executive Secretary (ex officio)

Term of Appointment

Councillors serve for the duration of their office; others for 3 years with the option of a further renewal of 3 years).

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

Advise Council on International issues including:

1. Support of overseas based fellows

2. Relations with overseas national astronomy societies

3. Relations with international astronomy organisations

4. Capacity development in developing countries ( see http://www.ukcds.org.uk/page-Overview_of_Capacity_Building_Activities-149.html and http://iau.org/static/education/strategicplan_091001.pdf )

Operation

A minimum of 2 meetings a year ( to one of which overseas based members will be invited) with e-communication at other times as required.



Astronomical Heritage Committee

Membership

Chair: a Fellow.  Members: up to five other Fellows, including a Committee Secretary. An archaeology advisor, normally co-opted. Others may be co-opted as required. Ex Officio - One Secretary

Term of Appointment

Members are normally appointed for three years; these terms are extended, or new appointments made, by Council each July, on the recommendation of the Chair.Continuous membership of the Committee (including terms as its Chair) is normally restricted to a maximum of six years with a minimum break of one year thereafter.

Terms of Reference/Responsibilities

1. To work on behalf of the RAS to help ensure that cultural properties and artefacts significant in the development of astronomy, together with their settings, are duly studied, protected and maintained, both for their greater enjoyment and to the potential benefit of future historical research.(a)

2.  To liaise with other national and international bodies concerned with astronomical history and heritage, in so far as they impinge on UK properties and interests, to help achieve this aim.
3.  To provide, on behalf of the RAS, active support for the development and implementation of UNESCO’s Astronomy and World Heritage initiative, which promotes “significance in relation to astronomy” as a new criterion for the inclusion of cultural properties on the World Heritage List.
4.  To work, in conjunction with the Education Committee and other RAS Committees as appropriate, to enhance public interest, understanding, and support in the field of astronomical heritage.
5.  To advise the RAS on light pollution issues concerning heritage sites and to help preserve the spectacle of the dark night sky as a universal heritage of humankind.

(a) The range of properties and objects in question includes ancient sites and monuments with demonstrable links to the sky (such as Stonehenge), instruments of all ages, archives, and historical observatories.

 

 

Operation

A minimum of two and a maximum of four meetings are held each year, depending upon the level and urgency of business, and timed so as to maximise attendance.