Dear IAU Member, 

I am writing to update you on IAU activities. First, I extend my heartfelt condolences to our colleagues, their families, and friends who have been impacted by the tragic devastation caused by the fires in Hawai’i. I wish everyone strength as they strive to recover.

I have three important items to bring to your attention regarding (1) a revision to the Code of Conduct Policy, (2) Professional-Amateur opportunities, and (3) a new IAU brochure highlighting our work. Details are given below.

(1) Revision to the Code of Conduct

The Executive Committee has approved a revised Code of Conduct; the new version is available online: link. The Executive Committee Working Group on Equity and Inclusion suggested changes to the wording to align with current usages, such as his/her --> them, and adding to the list of protected classes (see Section 3.1, “promote fair treatment for all their colleagues, regardless of (but not limited to)…’’

On p. 4, a note on self-plagiarism is added: “Plagiarism and self-plagiarism are acts of reproducing text, ideas or other material from sources without proper credit, whether it is inserted verbatim or has been modified or paraphrased. This also applies to abstracts published in meeting proceedings, which must include a citation if already part of a published paper. Plagiarism and self-plagiarism are unethical and as such are in violation of IAU’s Ethics policies.”

The Executive Committee modified further details in the Code of Conduct. On p. 6 in the Harassment Policy, a link is given to UN definitions of harassment in different countries.

The most substantive change is on p. 7: “It is a form of harassment to physically or verbally abuse or discriminate against alleged offenders of IAU’s policies, or if such policies are found to have been breached, inflict (or pressure others to inflict) punishments besides those officially sanctioned. In addition, the physical or verbal abuse or discrimination of those who work or have worked with the alleged or sanctioned perpetrator, simply because of their scientific collaboration, is also a form of harassment and as such is covered by this policy.”

(2) As recently announced, the Executive Committee Working Group on Pro-Am Collaborations has just launched an effort to engage IAU members in new research collaborations with amateur astronomers. Please consider signing up with your project to work with an amateur group: link.

(3) The IAU Secretariat and the Office for Astronomy Outreach have completed an IAU brochure:  link, for distribution to anyone wanting to learn more about the IAU, at local, regional, or national conferences, and during lectures or outreach. I hope you will enjoy sharing it.

I wish you all a productive new quarter, with preparations underway for the General Assembly in South Africa now less than a year away!

Best regards,
Debra Elmegreen,
IAU President