Over the first 25 years MIST has had links with several bodies, including the Institute of Physics and the Joint Association for Geophysics, but the strongest link has always been with the Royal Astronomical Society. The RAS gives generous support to MIST through providing lecture theatres for our meetings in London, and I think it is right that we should recognise our affiliation to the RAS.
However, in return for the benefits we receive we do have a moral obligation to ensure that our active members apply to become Fellows or Junior Members of the RAS. The RAS is the proper professional body for MIST, with a statutory responsibility for external geophysics, and it is through the RAS that we can best protect the future of our science. On the Council of the RAS there are places specially allocated to geophysicists and at present there are 5 members* from MIST - Richard Horne, Betty Lanchester, Mike Lockwood, David Orr and myself - on the Council where we can ensure that our community is never forgotten.
Members of the RAS can, of course, attend all RAS meetings, receive a free copy of Astronomy and Geophysics and one other of the House Journals, and use the RAS premises in Burlington House which includes the RAS library. There used to be a rumour that by arrangement members could park a car in the courtyard of Burlington House but with over 2,600 members to share one place this is not a benefit we can guarantee. We can guarantee that members of the RAS enjoy reduced membership rates for the Institute of Physics and the European Geophysical Society.
The membership rates (1997) for Fellows of the RAS are £51 pa for those over 30 and £34 for those under 30. However, research students may join as Junior Members for £13 pa. So please get in touch with me or one of the other members of RAS Council if you would like an application form.