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President of the Royal Astronomical Society

The President of the Royal Astronomical Society (prior to 1831 known as President of the Astronomical Society of London) chairs the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and its formal meetings. They also liaise with government organisations (including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the UK Research Councils), similar societies in other countries, and the International Astronomical Union on behalf of the UK astronomy and geophysics communities. Future presidents serve one year as President Elect before succeeding the previous president.[2]

President of the Royal Astronomical Society
Prof. John Zarnecki, current President of the RAS
Incumbent
Prof. John Zarnecki[1]

since 2016[1]
Royal Astronomical Society
Member of RAS Council
Appointer Elected by the Fellows of the RAS
Term length Two years
Precursor President of the Astronomical Society of London
Formation 1820
First holder Sir William Herschel
Website www.ras.org.uk/about-the-ras/council

There have been 89 RAS presidents as of 2015. The first president was William Herschel in 1821,[3] though he never chaired a meeting. Since then the post has been held by many distinguished astronomers. The post has generally had a term of office of two years, but some holders resigned after one year e.g. due to poor health. Francis Baily and George Airy were elected a record of four times each. Baily's eight years in the role are a record (Airy served for seven). Since 1876 no-one has served for more than two years in total.

PresidentsEdit

# Image Name Start year End year Note Reference
01   William Herschel 1821 1823 [3][4]
02   Henry Thomas Colebrooke 1823 1825 [3][4]
03(a)   Francis Baily 1825 1827 First term [3][4]
04(a)   John Herschel 1827 1829 First term [3][4]
05 James South 1829 1831 [3][4]
06 John Brinkley 1831 1833 [3][4]
03(b)   Francis Baily 1833 1835 Second term [3][4]
07(a)   George Airy 1835 1837 First term [3][4]
03(c)   Francis Baily 1837 1839 Third term [3][4]
04(b)   John Herschel 1839 1841 Second term [3][4]
08   John Wrottesley 1841 1843 [3][4]
03(d)   Francis Baily 1843 1845 Fourth term [3][4]
09   William Henry Smyth 1845 1847 [3][4]
04(c)   John Herschel 1847 1849 Third term [3][4]
07(b)   George Airy 1849 1851 Second term [3][4]
10(a)   John Couch Adams 1851 1853 First term [3][4]
07(c)   George Airy 1853 1855 Third term [3][4]
11 Manuel John Johnson 1855 1857 [3][4]
12 George Bishop 1857 1859 [3][4]
13 Reverend Robert Main 1859 1861 [3][4]
14 John Lee 1861 1863 [3][4]
07(d)   George Airy 1863 1864 Fourth term [3][4]
15   Warren De la Rue 1864 1866 [3][4]
16   Charles Pritchard 1866 1868 [3][4]
17 Admiral Manners 1868 1870 [3][4]
18   William Lassell 1870 1872 [3][4]
19   Arthur Cayley 1872 1874 [3][4]
10(b)   John Couch Adams 1874 1876 Second term. Last president to serve for more than 2 years in total. [3][4]
20   William Huggins 1876 1878 [3][4]
21   Lord Lindsay 1878 1880 [3][4]
22   John Russell Hind 1880 1882 [3][4]
23 Edward Stone 1882 1884 [3][4]
24 Edwin Dunkin 1884 1886 [3][4]
25(a)   James Whitbread Lee Glaisher 1886 1888 First term [3][4]
26   William Christie 1888 1890 [3][4]
27 James Francis Tennant 1890 1892 [3][4]
28(a) Edward Ball Knobel 1892 1893 First term [3][4]
29   William de Wiveleslie Abney 1893 1895 [3][4]
30   Andrew Ainslie Common 1895 1897 [3][4]
31   Robert Stawell Ball 1897 1899 [3][4]
32   George Darwin 1899 1900 [3][4]
28(b) Edward Ball Knobel 1900 1901 Second term [3][4]
25(b)   James Whitbread Lee Glaisher 1901 1903 Second term [3][4]
33 Herbert Hall Turner 1903 1905 [3][4]
34   William Maw 1905 1907 [3][4]
35 Hugh Frank Newall 1907 1909 [3][4]
36   David Gill 1909 1911 [3][4]
37   Frank Watson Dyson 1911 1913 [3][4]
38 Edmond Herbert Grove-Hills 1913 1915 [3][4]
39   Ralph Allen Sampson 1915 1917 [3][4]
40   Percy Alexander MacMahon 1917 1919 [3][4]
41   Alfred Fowler 1919 1921 [3][4]
42   Arthur Eddington 1921 1923 [3]
43   John Louis Emil Dreyer 1923 1925 [3]
44   James Jeans 1925 1927 [3]
45 Theodore Evelyn Reece Phillips 1927 1929 [3]
46   Andrew Claude De Lacherois Crommelin 1929 1931 [3]
47 Harold Knox-Shaw 1931 1933 [3]
48 Frederick John Marrian Stratton 1933 1935 [3]
49   John Henry Reynolds 1935 1937 [3]
50 Harold Spencer Jones 1937 1939 [3]
51 Henry Crozier Keating Plummer 1939 1941 [3]
52   Sydney Chapman 1941 1943 [3]
53 Arthur Milne 1943 1945 [3]
54 Harry Hemley Plaskett 1945 1947 [3]
55 William Michael Herbert Greaves 1947 1949 [3]
56 William Marshall Smart 1949 1951 [3]
57 Herbert Dingle 1951 1953 [3]
58 John Jackson 1953 1955 [3]
59 Harold Jeffreys 1955 1957 [3]
60 William Herbert Steavenson 1957 1959 [3]
61 Roderick Oliver Redman 1959 1961 [3]
62 William McCrea 1961 1963 [3]
63 Richard van der Riet Woolley 1963 1965 [3]
64 Thomas George Cowling 1965 1967 [3]
65 Donald Sadler 1967 1969 [3][5]
66   Bernard Lovell 1969 1971 [3]
67 Fred Hoyle 1971 1973 [3]
68 Donald Blackwell 1973 1975 [3]
69   Francis Graham-Smith 1975 1977 [3]
70 Alan Cook 1977 1979 [3]
71 Michael Seaton 1979 1981 [3]
72   Arnold Wolfendale 1981 1983 [3]
73 Raymond Hide 1983 1985 [3]
74   Donald Lynden-Bell 1985 1987 [3]
75   Rod Davies 1987 1989 [3]
76 Roger John Tayler 1989 1990 Astronomer: stellar evolution, galaxy evolution, plasma physics.
Resigned his presidency a year early when he was diagnosed with myeloma.
[3][6]
77 Kenneth Pounds 1990 1992 Space scientist, X-ray astronomer [3]
78   Martin Rees 1992 1994 Cosmologist, theoretical astrophysicist [3]
79 Carole Jordan 1994 1996 First female president
Solar physicist, ultraviolet astronomer
[3]
80   Malcolm Longair 1996 1998 High energy astronomer, cosmologist [3]
81 David A. Williams 1998 2000 Astrochemist [3]
82 Nigel Weiss 2000 2002 Theoretical astrophysicist [3]
83   Jocelyn Bell Burnell 2002 2004 Radio astronomer [3]
84 Kathryn Whaler 2004 2006 Earth geophysicist [3]
85 Michael Rowan-Robinson 2006 2008 Infrared astronomer [3]
86 Andrew Fabian 2008 2010 X-ray astronomer [3]
87   Roger Davies 2010 2012 Astronomer, physical cosmologist [3]
88   David Southwood 2012 2014 Space scientist, magnetospheres [3][7]
89   Martin Barstow 2014 2016 Astronomer: white dwarfs, interstellar medium, ultraviolet astronomy [3][2][8][9]
90   John Zarnecki 2016 2018 Space scientist, spacecraft instrumentation [10]

Further readingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Election results 2015: new President and Council". Royal Astronomical Society. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "University of Leicester Professor elected President of the Royal Astronomical Society". University of Leicester. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw "List of presidents and dates of office". A brief history of the RAS. Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az Dreyer, John L. E.; Turner, Herbert H., eds. (1923). History of the Royal Astronomical Society: Volume 1, 1820–1920. London: Royal Astronomical Society. p. 250. 
  5. ^ Wilkins, G. A. (1991). "Obituary - 1908-1987 Donald Sadler". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 32: 59. Bibcode:1991QJRAS..32...59W. 
  6. ^ Mestel, L. (1997). "A tribute to Roger J. Tayler (25 October 1929 - 23 January 1997)". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India. 25: 143. Bibcode:1997BASI...25..143M. 
  7. ^ "Profile: David Southwood". Astronomy & Geophysics. 53 (4): 10. 2012. Bibcode:2012A&G....53d..10.. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4004.2012.53410.x. 
  8. ^ Smith, Keith. "Election results: new President and Council". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Massey, Robert (9 May 2014). "Elections 2014". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Smith, Keith (8 May 2015). "Election results 2015: new President and Council". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 13 May 2015.