Report to Council and General assembly 2005

After some years of intense inactivity, Comm. 19 has begun to revive. Our
most immediate goal was to "adopt" the biennial Symposium on Relativistic
Astrophysics as ours. The 2004 event (the 22nd) held at Stanford had IUPAP
sponsorship, the money being used specifically to with travel for participants
coming from non-prosperous countries. The December, 2006 23rd Symposium
scheduled for Melbourne, Australia was also selected for IUPAP sponsorship
at the 2005 executive committee meeting.

In odd-numbered years, we try to provide some encouragement for conferences
being held in under-developed, developing, and FSU countries. For 2005, this
was an October meeting on sciences drivers for extremely large optical
telescopes, held in Cape Town, South Africa, in November. They are the host
country for the South African Large Telescope, which was dedicated shortly
before the meeting. The International Astronomical Union was a co-sponsor.

Looking ahead to 2007, the deadline for applications for support is 1 May
2006, and two conferences planned for appropriate countries have been
identified as suitable for IUPAP level-B support, and the organizers urged
to apply.

The Commission enthusiastically endorsed a policy statement called the
Washington Charter, which expresses the idea that it is the responsibility
of every research astronomer and astrophysicist to make some effort to
Communicate Astronomy with the Public (CAP for short), and Commission members
have been involved in planning gatherings on this topic in Granada, Spain
(as part of JENAM in 2004) and in Munich in 2005, and are provided some input
for the CAP session at the Triennial General Asssembly of the International
Astronomical Union in Prague in August 2006

Following the Cape Town GA, C19 drafted and agreed upon a description of
The IUPAP Prize for Young Scientists in Astrophysics. This was approved
by Council after electronic circulation, and the first prize will be awarded
in December 2006. Announcements of the opportunity to nominate have
appeared in several national astronomy society newsletters and those of the
International Astronomical Union and the European Astronomical Society.
The opportunity to nominate a young colleague for this prize appears
elsewhere on the web site.

Our involvement with 2005 as the World Year of Physics was not a paricularly
happy one, and consisted largely of protesting, and trying to persuade our
colleagues and other societies of astronomers and physicists, to protest
a plan to send a ring of light around the world starting in Princeton on
18 April 2005. The program went ahead, and there were indeed some "night
as bright as day" displays in Taiwan and elsewhere, but participation was
quite limited in most countries where Commission members happened to be
that day, including both Rome (where an election was in progress) and the site
of a conference on prevention of light pollution.

We expect, on the other hand, to be enthusiastic supporters of and participants
in 2009 as the World Year of Astronomy, marking the 400th anniversary of
the turning of telescopes toward the skies. It was endorsed by UNESCO, and
UN support is currently being sought for designation as the International
Year of Astronomy. The program will focus largely on CAP, education, and
outreach activities, including the effort to keep skies dark enough that the
average person can have some hope of seeing stars, planets, and comets from
near home.

On the issue of Associate Membership, C19 is particularly interested in the
possibility of representation from cuontries that do not currently adhere
to IUPAP. Because of the need for suitable observatory sites and aspects
of colonial history, there are large astronomy communities in more than
a dozen such countries, some of which are IAU members and the rest of which
have been in the past. It would be easy to identify representatives of
some of these communities for associate membership, in addition to 3-4
of the more traditionalsort (from other Commissions and from other
international organizations with astrophysicist membership).

Virginia Trimble
Past Chair, C19
Bozena Czerny
C19 representative at Council meeting