Leicester astronomer assumes Presidency of the Royal Astronomical Society

Posted by pt91 at May 09, 2014 09:50 AM |
Today (9 May) is the first day as RAS president for Professor Martin Barstow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering

Professor Martin Barstow begins his new role as President of the Royal Astronomical Society today, one of the most prestigious roles in astronomy.

He assumes the role from Imperial College London’s Professor David Southwood following his two-year term. He also follows in the footsteps of Leicester’s Professor Ken Pounds who held the role from 1990 to 1992.

Martin Barstow is Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science in our Department of Physics and Astronomy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of our College of Science and Engineering. His research interests are in white dwarfs, the local interstellar medium, and UV instrumentation. He is also involved in outreach and science policy, including serving on the STFC Council and advisory boards for the UK and European Space Agencies.

He has served on the RAS Council from 2005-2013, originally as a councillor and later as Astronomy Secretary.

Professor Barstow said: "I am excited to be taking on the role of RAS President. We continue to work in a challenging financial environment. Therefore, the society needs to continue to develop its outward-facing engagement with the Government and funding agencies, reminding them that our science has value in its own right and is a lynchpin of the supply chain of scientists and ideas that contribute to the economy downstream.

"I look forward to supporting the development of the RAS's education and outreach programmes, to encourage young people into science, and improving the position of women in astronomy and geophysics."