RAS AGM (Fellows Only) and Presidential Address 2024 Hybrid

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AGM followed by the Presidential Address by Mike Edmunds

'Gas Flows and the Evolution of Element Abundances in Galaxies'

I began working on the determination of element abundances in galaxies some fifty years ago, but have given priority to other studies during the last twenty-five years. In this address I want to see how far the subject has advanced in the meantime. This involves looking at both the determination of abundances from HII regions – have they improved? - and trying to understand how the correlation of the abundances with position in, and properties of, spiral galaxies may be explained. How much can be learned from abundances about the overall evolutionary history of a galaxy? In particular, I want to follow up and slightly extend work I and others did looking at the simple equations that show how abundances are affected by flows of interstellar gas during a galaxy’s evolution. A surprising amount can be learnt from this simple analysis, which may prove useful for interpreting recent and future observations. There is now an almost bewildering plethora of data from large galaxy surveys. Just as exciting will be the interpretation of data from the James Webb Space telescope whose redshift reach should allow the building up of a picture of the behaviour of abundances in galaxies right throughout their lifetimes.


Mike Edmunds is President of the Society May 2022 - May 2024, having previously served twice as a Council member and once as a Vice-President. His undergraduate and PhD degrees are from Cambridge University, but he has lived and worked in Wales since 1974. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at Cardiff University, having been a former Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy. His main research area has been in the chemical evolution of galaxies and the Universe – the topic for this year’s Presidential Address! He has also worked on the origin of interstellar dust, and in the history of astronomy. Particular interests have been the ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism geared astronomical calculator, and the early history of the RAS. He is a past member of two UK Research Councils – PPARC and STFC. He confesses to having experienced great satisfaction and joy from undergraduate teaching and public engagement.


Book your FREE RAS Presidential Lecture Online Only Ticket

Book your Fellows AGM and Presidential Lecture Hybrid Ticket

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The Geological Society,Burlington House,LONDON


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