Australia and the International Astronomical Union: The 1973 Sydney general assembly

Article


Lomb, Nick. 2020. "Australia and the International Astronomical Union: The 1973 Sydney general assembly." Historical Records of Australian Science. 31 (2), pp. 118-126. https://doi.org/10.1071/HR20004
Article Title

Australia and the International Astronomical Union: The 1973 Sydney general assembly

ERA Journal ID3482
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorLomb, Nick
Journal TitleHistorical Records of Australian Science
Journal Citation31 (2), pp. 118-126
Number of Pages9
Year2020
Place of PublicationClayton, Victoria, Australia
ISSN0727-3061
1448-5508
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1071/HR20004
Web Address (URL)https://www.publish.csiro.au/HR/HR20004
Abstract

Formed in 1919, the International Astronomical Union is the international body representing professional astronomers. Australia joined the union soon after its formation but, due to financial difficulties, dropped out for a few years until re-joining just before the Second World War. The main non-financial contribution any country can make to the union is to host one of its general assemblies that are held in different countries and cities every three years. After Australia’s bid to host a general assembly in 1967 or 1970 was unsuccessful, another bid was made for 1973. This second bid was accepted by the union’s executive council and confirmed in a letter from the union’s general secretary. The five years of planning and organisation for the assembly were made difficult by several external threats. The main one was the late proposal from Poland to move the 1973 assembly to Warsaw to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus. A compromise of an extraordinary general assembly in Poland following the ordinary one in Australia led to reduced numbers of overseas participants in Sydney. Despite this and other problems, the 1973 general assembly was regarded as highly successful.

KeywordsAstronomy, astrophysics, conference, research, historical, international astronomical union
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020519999. Other physical sciences not elsewhere classified
430399. Historical studies not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsCentre for Astrophysics
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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