FAS speaks

After suffering a near death experience prior to the last Federation of Astronomical Societies (FAS) Annual General Meeting, the FAS Council has returned, refreshed and with all guns blazing. The biannual newsletter has been published and is available to peruse.

It outlines plans to mandate certain aspects of best practice in running an astronomical society in the UK. The mandatory areas will be primarily be around Health and Safety (events and laser pointers), diversity policy, child protection policy, and member Codes of Conduct. The Council’s aim is to be the quality mark for safe and fair astronomy in the UK. In their recent survey of societies, only 10% responded to FAS and they report the preferences to mandate or not mandate were mixed.

Only time will tell if mandatory is the right way to go with many societies already struggling to keep members volunteering with the current levels of legal burden.

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