No 42 – 20/08/2019

SGAA/SSAA eNews No 42 – 20/08/2019

  1. Call for MERAC Funding and Travel Awards
  2. Call for the Prix Schläfli 2020 in astronomy
  3. NEXT SSAA GA in Basel: Friday October 11 2019
  4. Conference announcements:
    • On the Origin of the Elements
    • CEMP Stars as Probes of First-Star Nucleosynthesis, the IMF, and Galactic Assembly
  5. Obituaries: Gustav Tammann, Claus Fröhlich, George Lake
  6. General information on the Society

1. Call for MERAC Funding and Travel Awards

The SSAA is pleased to announce the second 2019 call for MERAC awards.

Since 2013 the SSAA committee distributes Funding and Travel Awards (20’000 Euro in total) sponsored by Foundation MERAC (Mobilising European Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology), a nonprofit foundation in Switzerland to recognize, encourage and promote the research and mobility of young European Astrophysicists and Cosmologists.

The recipients of the MERAC awards are listed here

The objectives of the grants are to cover travel costs, participation at international conferences, short stays abroad, costs for collaborations, or alike, to support the development of research projects by young astrophysicists. The grants do not cover expenses for scientific apparatus or equipment.

The grants are subject to the following conditions:

  • the grantee must be employed by or affiliated with a Swiss research institute or University,
  • the grants must be used to cover project costs, not or only partially covered by other institutions,
  • the grant has to be used within two years, after which unused funding must be reimbursed to the SSAA,
  • the grantee provides the SSAA with a financial report and short final report on the use of the grant,
  • the grantee allows the MERAC Foundation to make his/her biography and project summary public.

Applications are received twice per year (March 15, and September 15). They must include

  1. a short biography,
  2. a research project description with a summary,
  3. a budget estimate,
  4. in case of a multiple applications, the list of other solicited funds shall be given.

The applications should be limited to a maximum of 5 pages, in a single pdf file, to be sent to the president with copy to the secretary.

2. Call for the Schläfli Prize 2020 in astronomy

The Schläfli Prize, one of the longest-running science prizes in Switzerland (since 1866), is awarded by the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) to young scientists for excellent articles resulting from PhDs in each of the following natural science disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, and, in 2020, to Astronomy.

Eligibility is limited to young researchers who did their doctoral thesis at a Swiss University, or Swiss nationals who did their doctoral thesis abroad. Candidates must have defended their doctoral thesis between 1 November 2016 and 31 October 2019. Nominations may be submitted by the candidate’s doctoral supervisor or by the president of an SCNAT member society.

The two best candidates from the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and astronomy will be proposed to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Committee for participation at the meeting in 2020.

Nominations for the Schläfli Prize must be submitted via their online form before 31 October 2019.

More information and details on the application process on the Academy website

3. NEXT SSAA GA in Basel: Friday October 11 2019

The next General Assembly will be held in Basel on Friday October 11 2019. Mark the date!

Before the GA please have a thought to the following points below:

1) Amendment to the statutes: at the moment according to the statutes, the Committee Members of the Society should belong to different institutes. However, in the past years, this has not been often the case. We therefore propose to change the status as follows:

Old text:

(Article 7) The committee is composed of a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer. Committee members come from separate institutes.

New text:

(Article 7) The committee is composed of a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer. Committee members come from at least two separate institutes.

The full statutes (in french and german) can be found here.

2) Secretary position: due to new professional commitments, Adam Amara will step down from his position as Secretary of the Society. Any Members who would be interested by this task can send an e-mail to the president with copy to the secretary.

3) Saas-Fee lecture 2021: we invite you to send your proposals for the Saas-Fee Lecture 2021 to the president with copy to the secretary.

4. Conference annoucements:

On the Origin of the Elements, Zurich, Friday 30 August 2019

The Swiss Physical Society (SPS) and SCNAT celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table of the Elements (IYPT 2019) with a special symposium on Friday, 30 August 2019 from 11:15 to 13:30 in Zurich.

  • Under the title On the Origin of the Elements three overview talks will highlight the role of physics in the IYPT2019. Given by renowned specialists, they will cover the history of the discovery of the 118 elements, Big Bang and stellar nucleosynthesis, and the creation of heavy elements in stellar explosions. Each presentation will allow for enough time to answer questions from the audience. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
  • Celebrating 150 years Periodic Table, historical remarks and current situation by ​Heinz W. Gäggeler (PSI & Uni. Bern)
  • Big Bang and stars, two hot environments for making elements by Georges Meynet (Uni. Genève)
  • Stellar Explosions and the Heavy Elements by Friedrich-Karl Thielemann (Uni. Basel)

More information on their website.

CEMP Stars as Probes of First-Star Nucleosynthesis, the IMF, and Galactic Assembly, Geneva, 9-13 September 2019

If you are interested in the first stellar generations in the Universe, please have a look at the conference website.

Registration is open until 31 August 2019 here.

5. Obituaries

Since the beginning of 2019, unfortunately, highly esteemed colleagues and friends, members of our Society, have passed away.

A brief description of the wonderful career of

can be found by clicking on the links on their names.

6. General information on the Society

For more information concerning the SGAA/SSAA, astronomy in Switzerland, and related topics visit our Website

For any information and messages to be circulated via the SGAA/SSAA mailing list please e-mail your text to the secretary in plain ASCII. Thank you !

Registration online to the Society

Each member of the SSAA is invited to register on the new website and to provide his/her contact details.

If you have changed your affiliation/e-mail please change the information accordingly. This will ensure that the SSAA has your correct contact information.

You can directly access the registration page here.

European Astronomical Society (EAS) MEMBERSHIP

The EAS offers free membership to any member of the SSAA working as a researcher in astrophysics in Switzerland. You can opt in during the registration process to SSAA, or later in your profile interface. By ticking the box–> YES, I want to be an EAS member via the SSAA–, you agree that the SSAA transmits your detailed information to the EAS Office, and you agree that the EAS will make use of these data for EAS-related matters only. The EAS will also publish your first and last names, institution, and country on its EAS website, behind a login. The EAS Office will send login details at the beginning of each year.

SSAA members that are currently ordinary members of the EAS need also to tick this box in the SSAA profile interface if they wish to have the free membership via the SSAA. Otherwise, they will be considered as EAS paying members in 2019 (40 EUR).

The benefits of EAS membership can be found at:
In particular, EAS members profit from discount registration fees for the EAS yearly meeting EWASS. The membership is however not immediate, so in case you plan to attend an EWASS meeting please be sure to accept the EAS membership well in advance.

Annual membership payment through the webpage

The 30 CHF annual SSAA membership payment can be made online.

You can also set an automatic annual payment by clicking on the “Subscribe” button (but in that case you need to have a PayPal account).