The first serious attempt to establish a Hellenic
astronomical society was undertaken in 1982 during the XVIII General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union,
which took place in Patras, Greece. There, during several meetings, a dozen of Greek astronomers gathered in order to
put the foundations of the long sought Society. A number of people worked diligently throughout the end of the 1980’s,
organizing various meetings in order to identify the common grounds and proposing drafts for the establishment of an
In November 1991, when P. Laskarides issued the first announcement of the 1st Hellenic
Astronomical Conference, the idea of the establishment of an astronomical society, seemed ripe again. J.H. Seiradakis,
on sabbatical leave in Bonn, drafted a first draft of the Statutes. This was restructured and completed during several
meetings with D. Sinachopoulos, either in Bonn or in Brussels. Later S. Avgoloupis, B. Barbanis, S. Persides, N. Spyrou
and H. Varvoglis commented on it and a semi-final version was sent to the major astronomical establishments in Greece for
further comments. A final version was presented to the participants of the 1st Hellenic Astronomical Conference, which
was held in Athens in September 1992.
During the Athens Conference, several astronomers became founding members of the
Hellenic Astronomical Society. A few more founding members signed the proposed Statutes during the next few
weeks bringing the total number of founding members to sixty six (66). The paperwork for the recognition of the
Society was undertaken by a lawyer in Athens and on May 25 1993 the Hellenic Astronomical
Society, Hel.A.S. (Ελληνική Αστρονομική Εταιρεία, ΕΛ.ΑΣ.ΕΤ.) was recognized by
the Court of Justice in Athens.
The appointed Council of Hel.A.S. was formally informed of the decision of
the Court of Justice in June 1993. The Council consisted of B. Barbanis as President, J. Ventura as Vice-President,
P. Laskarides as Secretary, K. Makris as Treasurer and C. Goudis , K. Poulakos and V. Tsikoudi as Members. The Council
initiated the procedure for the first elections of Hel.A.S. By January 1994 another 74 colleagues had applied
to become members, bringing the total number to 140. In the elections, which took place on June 2nd 1994, participated 83%
of the founding members.
The Hellenic Astronomical Society has been active ever since. It has been recognized
as an Affiliated Member of the European Astronomical Society and has established links
with other international astronomical societies. It is closely collaborating with the
Greek National Committee for Astronomy and it has been organizing a major astronomical conference in Greece every two years.
The above account describes briefly the events concerning the establishment of
Hel.A.S. If you happen to know of any further details that may shed light to the early history of the work and efforts
that eventually led to the establishment of the Hellenic Astronomical Society, please send a message to Vassilis Charmandaris.