Ordinary Meeting, 2005 December 17

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Ordinary Meeting, 2005 December 17

held at The English Heritage Lecture Theatre, 23 Savile Row, London W1

Richard Miles, President

Ron Johnson, Hazel Collett and Nick James, Secretaries

The President opened the second meeting of the 116th session, reporting with sadness the death of Dr Andy Hollis, who had been Director of the Remote Planets and Asteroids Section until only a few months earlier. Born in Cambridge in 1947, Dr Hollis had first joined the Association at the age of 14, later becoming the Director of the then Terrestrial Planets Section's Minor Planets Group in 1984. He had remained at its helm for the next 20 years, seeing it through its transition into a separate section in its own right, and later changing to its present name. He had surely been one of the Association's most skilful observers, in recognition of which he had been awarded the Merlin Medal in 1992; of such quality were his observations that he had been able to use them in a thesis on the evolution of asteroids when the Open University had first begun to offer PhD courses, culminating in his receipt of one of the University's first doctorates. His year-long battle with cancer, and longer struggle with multiple sclerosis, had sadly come to an end on November 21. Members stood for a moment's silence.

The President then invited Mrs Hazel Collett to read the minutes of the previous meeting, which were approved by members and duly signed. Mr Ron Johnson, Business Secretary, announced that no presents had been received. Dr Miles reported that 80 new members were proposed for election, and put to members the election of those 112 who had been proposed at the previous meeting; these being accepted, he declared them elected, and invited any new-comers to introduce themselves to him during the interval. Mr Nick James, Papers Secretary, announced that at the two meetings of Council since the previous Ordinary Meeting, two papers had been approved for publication in the Journal:

Dr Miles reported that the next meeting would be the second in the Association's series of Back To Basics workshops, to be held on January 21 at the University of Kent in Canterbury. The next Ordinary Meeting, featuring talks by Chris Lintott, Martin Mobberley and Doug Ellison, would follow on January 25, at a new venue within Guy's Hospital; the present venue, home to the Association for many years in its present and previous incarnations as the English Heritage Lecture Theatre and the Scientific Societies' Lecture Theatre respectively, was soon to be demolished, sadly.

The President then introduced the evening's first speaker, Prof Don Kurtz. Academically most notable as the discoverer of a new class of rapidly pulsating A-type stars, Prof Kurtz had started his career with a doctorate from the University of Texas, after which he had passed two decades working at the University of Cape Town. He now held a chair in the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Central Lancashire. This afternoon, he would be presenting the Association's Christmas Lecture, on the measurement of time.




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