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Armenia's Membership in The International Astronomical Union in Danger
By Chahe Tanachian, Montreal, July 2009
Please read Chahe Tanachian's plea "to make Armenia honorable again in the International Astronomical Union". There are times that people need to act beside hearing, listening and reading. This is one of them. Please act!! Only four days are left to make a difference.
Armenians sometimes refer to Viktor Hampartsoumian as the greatest Armenian scientist of the 20th century.

I believe we should refer to him as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century (in the world).

During the last year of the AGBU Manuel Keusseyan Armenological Studies, I spoke about Armenia’s situation as a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) whose President has been Viktor Hampartsoumian for many years.

Armenia has been unable to pay the membership fees for the last 6 years including 2009.

The IAU has previously waived fees and granted extensions in order to give Armenia a chance to remain a member. This gesture of goodwill on part of the IAU is based on the fact that Armenian scientists have a very good standing in the field of astronomy and astrophysics and their work and expertise is highly regarded.
My efforts have been directed to raise the amount to pay the fees for one year. The yearly fee is approximately $3500 CDN.

The Director of the Byurakan Observatory of Armenia, Dr. Hayk Harutyunyan has sent me the latest letter they have received from the IAU dated June 2009 indicating that unless the membership fees are paid before July 31st 2009, Armenia’s membership will be suspended. If a suspension lasts for 5 years, the IAU can terminate the membership.

The situation is quite pitiful for a country and a nation that have given a genius like Viktor Hampartsoumian to the world.

Dr. Harutyunyan has confirmed to me that they’re working to get the Ministry of Science to pay for at least 3 years of membership dues.

I know that some people rightfully ask themselves how come the Government of Armenia or financially capable citizens of Armenia are not taking care of this issue?

I say let’s not forget that Victor Hampartsoumian belongs to all Armenians and we can’t stay inactive and irresponsible towards his legacy and memory.

This is about what we can do and how we can awaken others with our gestures and efforts.

Dr. Harutyunyan has promised to publish an article about our contribution and gesture in major newspapers of the country and to create awareness about this essential issue.

We can also agree to send an official letter to the concerned authorities and let them know our concerns and preoccupations.

For transparency purposes, we will directly pay the fees to the IAU through the A.G.B.U. Montreal Chapter.

Dear Friends, I truly believe that a collection of small gestures by small groups of people can make a difference in the life and history of a nation.

Please tell your friends and family about this initiative and encourage them to participate.


Thank you,

Chahe Tanachian


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