HEAD Business Meeting, January 1999
business meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division was held on January 7, 1999,
at the Austin AAS meeting. Presiding over the meeting was the chair, Gordon Garmire.
Alan Marscher gave the secretary-treasurer's report. The balance in HEAD accounts
remains at about $30,000. There are 576 dues-paying members of HEAD, according to a recent
updating of the membership list. Previous higher numbers were probably not accurate,
containing a number of names of former members who had discontinued paying their dues.
There remain a number of high energy astrophysicists in the AAS who are not members of
HEAD. The secretary-treasurer will work to contact these, since in many cases the HEAD
membership lapsed when the AAS changed its billing procedure and failed to list HEAD dues
on the member's bill. The HEAD web page continues to be updated several times per year.
The results of the recent HEAD elections are that Mitchell Begelman, Christine
Forman-Jones, and Jules Halpern have been elected to the executive committee.
Alan Bunner of NASA Headquarters gave a summary of the strategic plan of NASA's
Structure and Evolution of the Universe program. GLAST is expected to have a new start in
FY02. For Constellation X, a new start is not possible until FY05. AXAF has been renamed
the Chandra X-Ray Observatory; the scheduled launch was April 8. [Note added in press: the
launch date is now considerable later than this]. HETE-II is scheduled for a launch in
Nov-Dec 1999; they were able to get an equatorial orbit to achieve low background levels.
ASTRO-E is scheduled to be launched in Feb 2000.
Nick White reported that XMM is scheduled to be launched in January 2000.
Gordon Garmire thanked outgoing executive committee members Dan McCammon, Jill
Bechtold, and Nick White. He announced that the 1999 Rossi Prize will be awarded to Jean
Swank and Hale Bradt for their key roles in the development of the Rossi X-ray Timing
Explorer, and for the resulting important discoveries related to high time resolution
observations of compact astrophysical objects.
The meeting was adjourned
HEAD Executive Committee Meeting, January 1999
The executive committee meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division was held on
January 6, 1999, at the Austin AAS meeting. Present were Gordon Garmire (chair), Neil
Gehrels (former chair), Alice Harding, Alan Marscher, Nicholas White, Lynn Cominsky, and
John Vallerga (meeting organizer).
The establishment of a science writing prize for journalists was discussed. It was
decided to name the prize after the late David Schramm, to award the prize at the HEAD
meetings, to include a monetary award of $1000 plus travel expenses to the HEAD meeting.
The article must be written for the general public by a journalist (who cannot be a
professional astronomer or astrophysicists). The selection panel will consist of the chair
of HEAD, the HEAD press officer, the AAS press officer (whom we have not yet asked to
agree to do this), and two science journalists (past winners after the first two awards).
Lynn Cominsky will draft a set of rules and circulate to the executive committee for
It was decided to award the 1999 Rossi Prize to Jean Swank and Hale Bradt for their key
roles in the development of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, and for the resulting
important discoveries related to high time resolution observations of compact
For the April 1999 HEAD meeting, it was decided to include some invited talks from
peripheral areas of astrophysics, such as gravitational waves and high-energy neutrinos.
The meeting was adjourned.