We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.
Volume 5, No. 2
5 no 2 Autumn/Winter 2002
following welcome announcement has been received from Dr. Wayne Orchiston.
THE INTER-UNION COMMISSION FOR
HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY
are pleased to announce the formation of the Inter-Union Commission for History
of Astronomy (ICHA) by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the
Division of History of Science of the International Union for History and
Philosophy of Science (DHS/IUHPS). The
ICHA is an international body representing the interests of all professional historians of astronomy worldwide.
It encourages research into the history of astronomy, facilitates
communication between researchers, organizes scientific meetings, undertakes
collaborative projects, and publishes a bi-annual newsletter.
The ICHA will also prepare recommendations for the IAU and the IUHPS, and
will liaise with other international organisations.
is open to the entire history of astronomy community. Those who are IAU members become full members of the new
Commission, while those who conduct their research through the IUHPS become
associate members. New members (of
either kind) are elected to the ICHA at the triennial General Assemblies of the
ICHA is governed by an Organising Committee (OC) of ten.
The inaugural OC, which is based on the current OC of Commission 41,
Professor Alex Gurshtein
Dr Wayne Orchiston (Australia: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Steven Dick (USA: email@example.com)
Wolfgang Dick (Germany: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rajesh Kochhar (India: email@example.com)
Tsuko Nakamura (Japan: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Il-Seong Nha (Korea: SLISNHA@chollian.net)
Woodruff Sullivan (USA: email@example.com)
Brian Warner (South Africa: Warner@physci.uct.ac.za)
of the ICHA Newsletters is the
responsibility of an Editorial Board comprising Dr Ileana Chinnici (Italy),
Professors Gurshtein and Stephenson, and Dr Orchiston.
Newsletters are scheduled to appear in June and December.
establishment of a genuine Inter-Union Commission by the two parent Unions is a
major step forward for the history of astronomy community.
IAU Commission 41 was founded in 1948, and for decades there has been
close co-operation between colleagues from this Commission and those associated
with the DHS/IUHPS. During the 1970s an attempt was made to have C41 formally
recognized as a joint commission of the two Unions, but this initiative was
in 1994 the idea somehow took hold that C41 had become "A joint IAU-IUHPS
Commission" (IAU Transactions XXIIB,
p.207), even though its status was unchanged, and this notion was perpetuated
through the 1994 ICSU Yearbook (see
p.104). Once this fiction of a
"Joint Commission" or "Inter-Union Commission" was established, it was
accepted without question until the true situation was discovered in late 2000.
quest for a true Inter-Union Commission then became a priority of the C41 OC,
and we are delighted to see so pleasing an outcome. Under the aegis of the ICHA, historians of astronomy
worldwide can look forward to an era of unprecedented co-operation and
harmonious collaboration. Finally, on behalf of all members of the ICHA we would
like to thank the General Secretaries of the IAU and the DHS/IUHPS for their
unstinting support and encouragement.
F. Richard Stephenson (President, ICHA)
Professor Alexander Gurshtein (Vice-President,
Steven J. Dick (Immediate Past President, IAU C41)