Who We Are and How We Support the Astronomy Community
The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe, which we achieve through publishing, meeting organization, advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.
The AAS publishes the leading international journals in the disciplines of astronomy & astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary sciences. Our recently established highlights journal, AAS Nova, and short results journal, Research Notes, represent innovative new ways we highlight the research results of the community. We are undertaking the publication of a new journal in the planetary sciences, which will be open for submissions in the end of 2019.
The AAS believes that a hybrid business model for our journals, with an option for Gold Open Access, provides the most robust operation of our journals. We make all content freely available after 12 months unless the authors opt for Gold Open Access. An equitable split in costs between authors and subscribers helps keep costs low for both groups and enables steady enhancements for our authors and for our readers, such as the newly released time-series tool, based on an AAS-funded astropy development effort. The time-series tool will allow the creation of interactive figures of time series data in our journals, which we believe is very important given the coming growth in time series astronomy. Just one of many enhancements detailed at journals.aas.org.
The AAS annual meeting is the largest regularly held conference in the astronomical sciences worldwide. Thousands of researchers present their research at the winter and summer meetings, while our impactful Division meetings provide platforms for focused research in the areas of planetary science, high energy astrophysics, solar physics, laboratory astrophysics, dynamical astronomy, and even the history of astronomy.
The AAS maintains an active program in public policy to influence policy decisions that impact our science, while actively engaging and informing our community about what is going on and how they can take positive steps to participate in the policy process.
The AAS seeks to support those seeking careers in astronomy or with astronomy backgrounds through the AAS Job Register and other career services including workshops at our meetings and links to information helpful to those considering a career in the astronomical sciences.
The Society strives to support our community through volunteer engagement on focused areas of concern. Our committees, working groups, and task forces have all had significant impact in areas from the Status of Women in Astronomy to Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris. A full list of these groups is available here. We are actively seeking new volunteers to help us achieve our mission. If you are interested, let our Secretary know.
The Society has long sought to support the work our members do in education and outreach and continue a variety of programs in this area including the Astronomy Ambassadors program, which trains early-career astronomers in how to be better science communicators, and also through supporting the ComSciCon program, which seeks to train early-career astronomers in science journalism (and budding science journalists), and the astrobites blog (and through the founders of that effort, several other ‘bites’ sites).
Sky & Telescope
We recently acquired Sky & Telescope magazine, the foremost magazine worldwide for engaged amateur astronomers. We will continue to run the magazine with editorial independence and focusing on the community they serve, while seeking to expand that community and enhance the engagement of professional astronomers with the amateur community.
The Society has taken steps to define clearly what acceptable professional behavior looks like in our field. From our Anti-Harassment Policy, to our Code of Ethics, to the guidance we give our authors and reviewers, the Society believes that establishing a safe, welcoming environment at the highest possible level of professionalism is important for moving our field forward. We respond quickly to reports of behavior inconsistent with our policies and have taken corrective action to ensure individuals act in accordance with them in the future. Doing so is one of our core values and central to our mission and purpose.