The Professional Astronomers Group was set up at the RASNZ Annual General Meeting held at Dunedin in May 2011. The principal guidelines and operating protocols of PAG are shown below. The full guidelines and protocols are available for download as a Word document.
Any professional astronomer interested in joining the PAG should contact the chairperson, Dr Nicholas Rattenbury
Guidelines and operating protocols for the PAG
Membership: The PAG will comprise professional astronomers in NZ. These will be defined either as those who are IAU members, or as those who, by virtue of their professional activities in astronomy and who would meet normal IAU membership criteria, may join PAG by invitation or after individual solicitation. Any IAU member in NZ is free to decline membership of PAG, or leave PAG at their own volition at any time. Membership of RASNZ will not be a prerequisite for membership of PAG, but RASNZ membership will be strongly encouraged.
Chair of PAG: Whenever the chair of PAG falls vacant, then the members of PAG will hold an election (normally by email) so as to appoint a new chair of PAG from amongst PAG members. The chair will normally serve for a three-year term. The election will be conducted by the RASNZ Council. The Chairperson shall maintain an up-to-date membership list of PAG and provide that list to the RASNZ Council on request by the President or Executive Secretary.
RASNZ representative on RS Advisory Panel (Physical Sciences): The RASNZ Council shall nominate a representative for the Society from amongst the membership of the PAG and who will serve on the RS Advisory Panel (Physical Sciences). Normally the representative of RASNZ will be the chairperson of PAG and will serve for a three-year term on the RS Advisory Panel which is concurrent with the position of PAG Chair. Membership or Fellowship of the RS is not a prerequisite for this appointment.
Functions of PAG:
The PAG will make recommendations (through the channel of the Royal Society) of the names of individuals in NZ who are to be nominated for membership of the IAU.
The PAG will recommend to the RS the name of one of its members who should be NZ representative at IAU General Assemblies, who will serve on various IAU committees and cast a vote for NZ at the IAU on motions proposed at IAU General Assemblies. (Such representatives normally receive RS funding for their participation at a General Assembly).
The PAG may make proposals to the IAU or to the RS for the sponsorship of astronomical conferences which are proposed to be held in NZ.
The PAG may raise any matter concerning astronomy of interest to RASNZ or to the RS and bring it to the attention of their respective councils.
The PAG will promote the interests of astronomers, professional and amateur, in NZ, foster the joint amateur-professional symbiosis within RASNZ, and generally support the aims of RASNZ in promoting astronomy in NZ, including teaching, research, public outreach in astronomy and support for amateur astronomy by professionals where appropriate.