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Netherlands Committee for Astronomy (NCA) - changing of the guard.

Submitter: Michael Garrett
Description: The NCA (Netherlands Committee for Astronomy) acts as a top-level coordinator for Dutch astronomy. Members of the NCA include (amongst others), the Directors of the Dutch university astronomy departments, the Managing and Scientific Directors of NOVA and the General Directors of ASTRON & SRON. The goal of the NCA is to coordinate all research, education, and policy-making decisions among the astronomical institutes in the Netherlands. The NCA also provides an interface between the Dutch astronomical community and the International Astronomical Union (IAU). In addition, it acts as a point of contact with the astronomy community for other national entities, such as ministries (e.g. OCW), the KNAW, and NWO. A major activity of the NCA is to produce and maintain a Strategic Plan for Dutch Astronomy. A new plan for the next ten years is currently being produced - a process in which astronomers at ASTRON are also involved.

Recently several NCA members rotated off the committee due to retirement or changing roles in their institute - these include Michiel van der Klis (Amsterdam), Thijs van der Hulst (Groningen) and last but not least, Jan Lub (Leiden). Jan served on the NCA as secretary for many years and has seen a series of different chairs come and go. Incidentally, the new chairman is now Ralph Wijers, well known to many in Dwingeloo. After the last NCA meeting, a dinner was held in Leiden (see images above) to celebrate and acknowledge the contribution Jan, Michiel and Thijs have made to Dutch astronomy in general, and the NCA in particular.
Copyright: ASTRON
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