International Astronomical Union IAU

International Astronomical Union (IAU)

 

a scientific society, member of the International Council of Scientific Unions. The IAU was founded in 1919; its membership comprises 43 countries. The USSR has been a member since 1935.

The principal aims of the union are to (1) coordinate astronomical research and promote the development of astronomy in all its aspects, (2) organize international scientific cooperation in astronomy, and (3) safeguard the interests of astronomy in other international scientific organizations.

The working organs of the IAU are the executive committee and the various commissions of the IAU for specific problems in astronomy (40 commissions in 1974). The commissions conduct basic coordinating work, in particular by organizing international conferences, symposia, and the like. The work of the IAU is directed by the general assembly, which meets once every three years in one of the member-countries (in Moscow in 1958). The general assembly, at general meetings and at commission sessions, hears scientific reports on the more topical problems of astronomy, approves reports on research findings, recommends research programs requiring the participation of astronomers from different countries, and discusses the union’s legal and financial problems.

The Soviet Union takes an active part in the work of the IAU; Soviet astronomers have been repeatedly elected to leading posts in the IAU.

E. R. MUSTEL’

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