Adam Burgasser elected to American Astronomical Society Council


Cool Star Lab PI Adam Burgasser has been elected as a Counciler for the American Astronomical Society (AAS), a 3-year term that begins June 2016. AAS Councilers represent the governing body of the AAS and are responsible for the management, direction and control of the affairs and the property of the AAS.  This includes consideration of resolutions that direct the research, educational and professional mission of the AAS. Adam was elected by a general vote of the AAS membership, which comprises 7,000 professional and amateur members.  Adam has been serving as Chair of the AAS Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy and is a AAS Agent.

Adam’s election statement was as follows:

Astronomy inspires people from all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be curious about the Universe, explore the physical underpinnings of Nature, and develop critical and scientific thinking. Yet, like many fields of physical science, our profession does not reflect the demographic composition of our nation, and various forms of subtle and overt racism, sexism, genderism, ableism, classism, and other exclusionary practices prevent the full spectrum of people, ideas and perspectives from being brought to bear on the greatest problems of our Universe.

As Chair of the CSMA, I have worked with our community to identify and address barriers to entry and advancement in Astronomy, including: financial barriers and biases associated with the GRE, imbalance in resources and opportunities for students and faculty of color at HBCUs and MSIs, and accessibility for all abilities. I served on the organizing committee for the first Inclusive Astronomy Conference, and am working with co-organizers and the community to develop recommendations to improve the climate for ALL astronomers. As a AAS Councilor, I will make sure our Committees of Community (CSWA, CSMA, SGMA) have a voice in AAS governance, and will serve the diverse community of students, amateurs and professionals that comprise our Society.