Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy 6

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When I wasa child, growing up in South America,I often went camping in the wild and hence had direct access to the wondrous Southern sky; the Southern Cross was all mine at the time. Little did I know then that the study of the sky would take such a huge importance in my life, and that in the end astronomy and astrophysics would in many ways become my country and my religion. I have lived in several di?erent countries, and when asked my nationality, I am always very tempted to reply: astronomer. I started as a theorist, and my only dream in my youth was to spend nights thinking and calculating, with paper and pencil, and to have the impression by dawn that I had understood something new. So at the time astronomy was seen or dreamt by me as a solitary endeavour, with periodic encounters with my wise adviser and professors; it is this model that I adopted when doing my PhD work. My generation has lived through many revolutions of all kinds. Those in astronomy, I believe, remain particularly remarkable, and I am a true product of them. Now, I elect to live and work in large organizations, and to share my endeavours with many people. And I relish the series of Andr e Heck on Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy, which help us recover our memories, reconstitute our own story, and read with glee about our neighbouring or far-away colleagues.


Place and date of birth: Jalhay (Belgium), 20 Sept. 1946. Nationalities: Belgian (birth), French (2004). Languages: Walloon (mother tongue), French (education language), English, Spanish (excellent knowledge), German (good knowledge), practical notions of a number of other languages.

University degrees:

Master of mathematics - Liège State University (1969) (title of the thesis: Apsidal motion and internal structure of the stars) Master of education - Liège State University (1969) Post-graduate certificates - Liège State University: General astrophysics (1970), Celestial mechanics (1970), Modern techniques of documentation (1971), Modern techniques of astrophysical observations (1972), Structure and dynamics of the Galaxy (1973)

Post-graduate certificate - Paris VI University: Probability and statistics (1970)

Ph.D. ("Doctorat d'Etat") - Liège State University (1975) - title of the theses: Application of the maximum-likelihood principle to the calibration of stellar luminosity criteria (main thesis). The multivariate statistical analysis provides indications on the meaning of photometric indices.

Certification in management - Management Center Europe (1981)

Certification in marketing, communication techniques and advertising - Strasbourg III University (1985)

D.Sc. ("Agrégation de l'Enseignement Supérieur Universitaire") - Liège State University (1985) - title of the theses: A few new contributions to astronomical statitics (main thesis). The photometric behavior of the irregular variable V348 Sgr shows that the characteristic times of variation proposed previously were incorrect. The statistical parallaxes obtained by application of the maximum-likelihood principle allow a consistent and independent recalibration of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. The quasi-periodic variations detected in the very slow nova RR Tel since its 1944 outburst explicit the role of the Mira component of the system. The rotation of the Galaxy (academic lecture).

Habilitation to direct researches - Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg I) University (1986).

Past and present positions:

Research Fellow of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research, Liège Institute of Astrophysics, Belgium (1969-1970)

Assistant Professor, Liège Institute of Astrophysics, Belgium (1970-1978)

Visiting Astronomer, Paris Astronomical Observatory, France (first semester 1971)

Associated Astronomer, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, France (May 1976)

Resident Astronomer, European Space Agency (ESA) International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) Ground Observatory, Villafranca del Castillo, Spain (1977-1980)

Deputy and Acting Observatory Controller, ESA IUE Ground Observatory, Villafranca del Castillo, Spain (1980-1983)

Associated Astronomer, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, France (1983-1986)

Astronomer, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, France (1986- )

Director, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, France (1988-1990)

Invited Chair Professor, Porto University, Portugal (October-November 1990)


ESA IUE Newsletter 1-4 (1979) Third European IUE Conference (with E. Rolfe & B. Battrick), ESA SP-176 (1982) xiv + 622 pp. (ISSN 0379-6566) UV Stellar Classification (with B. Battrick), ESA SP-182 (1982) vi + 136 pp. (ISSN 0379-6566) Newsletter of the `Working Group for Modern Astronomical Methodology' (with F. Murtagh) 1-8 (1985-1989) Astronomy from Large Databases. Scientific Objectives and Methodological Approaches. Garching, 12-14 October 1987 (with F. Murtagh), ESO Conf. & Workshop Proc. 28 (1988) xiv + 512 pp. (ISBN 3-923524-28-5) Knowledge-Based Systems in Astronomy (with F. Murtagh), Lectures Notes in Physics 329, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg (1989) ii + 280 pp. (ISBN 3-540-51044-3 & 0-387-51044-3) Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Astronomy -- Techniques d'Intelligence Artificielle pour l'Astronomie (XIe Journée de Strasbourg -- XIth Strasbourg Astronomical Day), Obs. Astron. Strasbourg (1989) viii + 82 pp. (ISSN 0989-621x -- ISBN 2-906361-04-6) Fractals in Astronomy -- Fractales en Astronomie (XIIe Journée de Strasbourg -- XIIth Strasbourg Astronomical Day), Vistas in Astron. 33 (1990) 245-424 Newsletter of the IAU Comm. 5 Working Group on `Astronomical Data' (1991-1994) Applying Fractals to Astronomy (with J.M. Perdang), Lectures Notes in Physics m3, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg (1991) x + 210 pp. (ISBN 3-540-54353-8 & 0-387-54353-8) Desktop Publishing in Astronomy and Space Sciences, World Scientific, Singapore (1992) xii + 240 pp. (ISBN 981-02-0915-0). Astronomy from Large Databases II. Haguenau, 14-16 September 1992 (wit...


This book is the sixth volume under the title Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). The OSA series is intended to cover a large range of fields and themes. In practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned.

The chapters of this book are dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: characteristics of organizations, strategies for development, legal issues, operational techniques, observing practicalities, educational policies, journal and magazine profiles, public outreach, publication studies, relationships with the media, research communication, evaluation and selection procedures, research indicators, national specificities, contemporary history, and so on.

The experts contributing to this volume have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detailed information and sometimes enlightening `lessons learned' sections. The book concludes with an updated bibliography of publications related to socio-astronomy and to the interactions of the astronomy community with the society at large.

This volume will be most usefully read by researchers, teachers, editors, publishers, librarians, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as by students aiming at a career in astronomy or related space science.

• Foreword (C. Cesarsky/ESO) • Editorial • The Evolving Sociology of Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy at the Start of the 21st Century (J.R. Roy & M. Mountain/Gemini Obs.) • Building Astronomy Research Capacity in Africa (P. Martinez/SAAO) • Astronomy in New Zealand (J.B. Hearnshaw/Univ. Canterbury) • The Current State of Austrian Astronomy (S. Schindler/Univ. Innsbruck) • Challenges and Opportunities in Operating a High-Altitude Site (R. Stencel/Denver Univ.) • An Insider's Perspective on Observing Time Selection Committees (J.L. Linsky/JILA) • Evaluation and Selection of Solar Observing Programs (H. Uitenbroek/NSO) • Evaluation and Selection of Radio Astronomy Programs: The Case of the lOOm Radio Telescope at Effelsberg (R. Schwartz, A. Kraus & J.A. Zensus/MPIfR) • The Development of HST Science Metrics (J.P. Madrid, F.D. Macchetto, Cl. Leitherer/STScI & G. Meylan/EPFL) • The Science News Metrics (C.A. Christian/STScI & G. Davidson/Northrop Grumman) • A Citation-Based Measure of Scientific Impact Within Astronomy (F.R. Pearce/Nottingham Univ. & D.A. Forbes/SwinbUrne Univ.) • A Comparison of Citation Counts in the Science Citation Index and the NASA Astrophysics Data System (H.A. Abt/KPNO) • Letters to the Editor of the AAS Newsletter: A Personal Story (J.L. Linsky/JILA) • Space Law (J. Hermida/Daihousie Univ.) • Search Strategies for Exoplanets (R. Rebolo/IAC) • IAU Initiatives Relating to the Near Earth-Object Impact Hazard (H. Rickman/Uppsala Obs.) • AFOEV: Serving Variable-Star Observers since 1921 An Interview withEmile Schweitzer/AFOEV • The International Planetarium Society: A Community of Planetarians Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century (C.C. Petersen/Loch Ness Prod.) • The Hands-On Universe Project (R. Ferlet/IAP & C.R. Pennypacker/UCB) • Outreach from the Jodrell Bank Observatory (I. Morison & T. O'Brien/JBO) • Astronomy Multimedia Public Outreach in France and Beyond (A. Cirou/Ciel & Espace) • Astronomers and the Media: What Reporters Expect (T. Siegfried & A. Witze/Dallas Morning News & Nature) • Updated Bibliography of Socio-Astronomy

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Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy 6
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