The German Astronomical Society (Astronomische Gesellschaft, or AG for short) is the German national professional association for astronomy and astrophysics. It represents the interests of all German astronomers. Its members – astronomers and astrophysicists as well as astronomy enthusiasts – gather once a year for a general meeting. The institutional members of the AG also convene in more frequent meetings of the Council of German Observatories, the science policy committee of the AG. On the international level, the AG represents the astronomical scientific community of Germany in the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The AG fosters science and research activities. It also awards prizes for outstanding research in the field as well as for the dissemination of science to the public and in education. These include the Karl Schwarzschild medal for astronomers of high scientific standing, the Ludwig Biermann Award for outstanding young scientists, the Bruno H. Bürgel Award for communicating science to the broader public, the Hans Ludwig Neumann Award for exemplary astronomy teaching at schools, the doctoral award for outstanding doctoral theses and a special award for Germany’s “Jugend forscht” youth science competition.

Verleihung der Karl-Schwarzschild-Medaille 2012 an Sandra Moore Faber (Bild: Daniel Fischer)Through the organisation of scientific conferences and networking events as well as regular newsletters and internal updates, the German Astronomical Society helps its members to interact and exchange ideas. The annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society (“AG-Tagung”) has become an integral part of the astronomy field’s conference calendar.

One crucial service that the AG manages is a job board for career opportunities in astrophysics and astronomy. Committees and working groups of the AG are active in the fields of astronomy education, gender equality and history of astronomy.

The AG hosts  the “Astronomy in Germany” website, which targets the general public, educational institutions and the media. The site provides information on astronomical research and education, and on ways to look at astronomy and approach astronomy education. Once a year, individual members of the AG who are active in public outreach activities and official public affairs representatives of the member institutions meet for a networking event. These meetings offer members an opportunity to exchange ideas about individual projects and to initiate joint initiatives. 

Screenshot www.astronomie-in-deutschland.deFor more than 100 years, the AG has published annual reports. These reports summarise scientific projects, publications and other activities of all astronomers at professional institutions in Germany, reflecting the development of the astronomical and astrophysical research landscape in Germany over many years.