Finding speakers for society meetings

Forums General Discussion Finding speakers for society meetings

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    Graham Winstanley

    A couple of years ago I carried out a review of the sources of help with finding speakers for society meetings and felt that there was a need for a website that would make the task easier. The sources that I am aware of are the following:

    Federation of Astronomical Societies

    Royal Astronomical Society

    The FAS list is fairly comprehensive and is widely used by programme secretaries but in order to access the list of speakers requires a membership and a password. The RAS list has improved considerably since I first looked and also now has a map of the location of speakers, however, they only list speakers that are members of the RAS.

    http://www.astrospeakers .org can be accessed by all, enhancing its value for outreach, and is open for any speakers to register their details.
    Speakers may be found by clicking on your location on a map and this will bring up a list of speakers willing to travel to your location, or you may browse the whole list. There are currently 35 speakers registered, including BAA section directors Mike Foulkes, Mike Frost and Gary Poyner.

    There is also a find your local astronomical society map.

     “What a good idea.”  has been the reaction of several speakers and AS secretaries, so it is hoped that the number of registrations will grow rapidly.
    I must acknowledge the contribution of Glyn de Lacy as webmaster as I have no web design skills. There are plans to build a database of talks taking place throughout the UK that could be searched by topic, location or speaker. That will require a greater level of web expertise than available to us at present, so for now we have set up a diary of all day or longer events, BAA, SPA meetings, etc.

    Please take a look online and bring Astrospeakers to the attention of programme secretaries and astronomy lecturers.

    Best regards,

    Graham Winstanley

    Gary Poyner

    I applaud Graham for this super idea, and support him in his aims wholeheartedly. I also urge BAA members who give talks to Astro societies to sign up!

    I must point out though that I am an ex-section director these days!


    Graham Winstanley

    Thank you for your support Gary.

    Apologies to Roger Pickard the current director of the VSS, but you are still involved as the Recurrent Objects Secretary.

    Gary gave an excellent presentation to the Lincoln AS earlier this month on Historical Novae. If he has not been to speak at your society yet I would recommend you contact him.


    Graham Winstanley

    Dr Ann Bonell has become the 40th speaker to join Astrospeakers. Ann’s topics are on the history of astronomy, including “Ladies of the Night” about lady astronomers at a time when it was not the done thing for a lady to be an astronomer.
    Newtown Astronomy Society have also registered and you will find their details by clicking the map at E10. At their meeting on 10 September there was a talk by Dr Tony Cook, “Cook’s tour of the Moon”.


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