Andy Lawrence 2006-05-15

This is a very slight update on my email to the SOC of 2006-05-02

(1) The IAU GA web site is up and running at http://www.astronomy2006.com/ Information on our special session (SPS3), and the related one on Astronomical Data Management (SPS6), is at http://www.astronomy2006.com/special-sessions.php#sps3

Early registration has just been extended : it ends May 31st.

(2) Of the 1290 people registering for the GA so far, 280 have indicated they will attend our session before the weekend, and 247 after the weekend. Not all of those will turn up, but its also still early days, so it seems pretty clear we will have a sizeable audience.

(3) A call for papers was sent to members of the IVOA Executive in February, who publicised it in whatever way was appropriate in their own national community. The call is for example available through the Euro-VO web pages at http://www.euro-vo.org. Abstract submission is open until June 26th.

Abstracts are submitted via the GA web server. So far, 25 abstracts have been submitted. If the contributed talks are approximately 20 minutes each, we might have room for around 40ish. So it looks likely we have will enough talks. But we really want to make sure we get top quality science talks as well as technical VO talks. I would urge you all to encourage submission of science talks using VO tools.

On the public pages, you can see the names and titles of submitted abstracts. The actual abstracts are available on the organisers web pages. As soon as possible after the abstract closing date we should finalise selection and design the final programme. I am pencilling in June 29th for a SOC telecon.

It is crucial that we encourage more science-led talks - as opposed to VO-led talks

(4) Our "detailed information" page listed on the GA web pages is at


The internal planning pages are at


We failed to make a nice public web page I am afraid. It is probably still worth doing this, to encourage more abstracts, to encourage attendance, and for general PR. (I have at least tidied up the wiki version). As well as some pretty pix and links to VO projects, it should have the draft programme as soon as possible. If we manage this, it will be at


(5) Travel grant applications are now closed. The secretariat had intended to announce results by the end of April, but have not done so yet. (This is why they extended the early registration deadline .. so people who didn't get grants could at least still get cheap registration..)

(6) I am in the process of confirming the keynote speakers, and will email separately about this in due course. The provisional list is


In the last few days Rees declined. The rest are almost certainly ok, but for a few people it might depend if we can schedule them before or after the weekend.

Some of these people are VO-trusties as it were, and some are not. We will need to make sure they are well briefed w.r.t. the current capabilities of the VO, so they can give well targeted talks. Should we set each of them a clearer remit perhaps - 3-4 lines of suggestion ?

(7) Programme. We cannot design a final programme until after abstract submission, but we need something a little better that pencils in invited speakers. Suggestions please.

(8) Technical session and VO stands. There is an IVOA stand which will operate throughout the GA. Stands have also been taken out by CDS and by AstroGrid. During our session, we intend to put some time aside for attendees to visit the demos. The plan for what we do with this time is not yet well formulated...


May 15    Early Registration ends
Jun 01    Provide info to GA booklet
Jun 01    Recommended Hotel booking date
Jun 26    Abstract submission closes
Jun 29    Provisional SOC telecon
Aug 07    Registration ends
Aug 14    GA starts
Aug 17    SPS3 day-1 (pm only)
Aug 18    SPS3 day-2
Aug 19-20 weekend
Aug 21    SPS3 day-3
Aug 22    SPS3 day-4 (am only)
Aug 22    SPS6 day-1 (pm only)

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