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GRG Society History

The Society was founded at the 1971 GR conference in Copenhagen. Prior to that, the conferences had been run by the self-perpetuating International Committee on General Relativity and Gravitation. This had become Affiliated Commission 2 of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics in 1957. For this reason the Society is also known as the International Commission on General Relativity and Gravitation.

Many prominent researchers have been officers or committee members of the Society. A table showing all the members who have held such offices can be found here. The past Presidents have been Christian Møller (1971-74), Nathan Rosen (1974-77), Peter Bergmann (1977-80), Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat (1980-83), Dennis Sciama (1983-86), Ted Newman (1986-89), George Ellis (1989-92), Roger Penrose (1992-95), Jürgen Ehlers (1995-8), Werner Israel (1998-2001), Robert Wald (2001-4), Clifford Will (2004-7), Abhay Ashtekar (2007-2010), Malcolm A.H. MacCallum (2010-13), and Gary Horowitz (2013-2016). The current President is Eric Poisson.

The Society has had only four Secretaries. André Mercier, the main founder and Secretary to the preceding Committee, served from 1971 to 1974. He was followed by his Bern colleague Alan Held, who served as both Secretary and Journal Editor from 1974 to 1995. From 1995 to 2010, Malcolm MacCallum served as the Secretary. Beverly Berger was elected to the position at GR-19 in July 2010.

A list of the triennial GRn conferences organized by the Society and its predecessor committee, and the details of published Proceedings and Abstracts volumes, can be found here.

The bulletins issued by the Society's predecessor, the International Commission or Committee, are available at the Society's archive or the Niels Bohr library of the American Institute of Physics. PDF copies are being posted on the Society's members web page.

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin has kindly offered to house the Society's archives. Material from Bern, where the Secretariat was housed from 1971-95, and material more than 5 years old from Prof. MacCallum's files, has already been deposited and is being catalogued.

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