Guest blog: What is the International Planetarium Society up to?

Posted by Nicole Kiefert
on Monday, October 2, 2017

IPS logo

By Ruth Coalson

 International Planetarium Society, Inc. Organization Profile 

The International Planetarium Society, Inc. (IPS) is the global members association of planetarium professionals. We currently have 700 members from 51 countries around the world. 

The primary goal of the Society is to encourage the sharing of ideas among its members through conferences, publications, and networking. By sharing their insights and creative work, IPS members become better planetarium professionals (planetarians). 

We want to raise awareness of our association and encourage new and previous members to join. IPS membership is open to anyone interested in planetariums and astronomy education/outreach. Members include directors, teachers, technicians, writers, artists, media specialists, digital artists and producers, presenters, vendors, scientists, students, enthusiasts, sponsors and friends of the planetarium dome and its starry sky. 

We have a biennial conference with the next one in Toulouse, France from the 1st to 5th July 2018. This will be the 25th International Planetarium Society conference and will be preceded by a “Fulldome Film Festival”. This event will be held at Cité de l’espace and Toulouse Métropole for the first time, against the exceptional backdrop of Toulouse, 2018 European City of Science. 

This is always an event not to be missed, where ideas are shared, innovative technologies presented with audience live interaction, personal development opportunities, workshops, panel discussions, vendor demonstrations, exhibits and new friendships made. 

Our President 

We have a talented team of officers managing IPS. Our President is Shawn Laatsch from the Emera Astronomy Center in Orono, Maine. Below are a few words from him encouraging members to contribute and give feedback, as this is our organization. 

“The IPS is a member organization and I encourage you to take part in your society by sharing your talents. Organizations like this are only as strong as the member contributions of their time. Please consider writing an article for Planetarian, volunteering for one of the committees, presenting at our conferences, or serving in other ways. Please let me and the other officers know your thoughts on how we can improve the society and enhance opportunities for your professional growth in the field, or if you have an area that you would like to contribute to. Thank you for being a member of this society and for sharing the universe with the world”. 


Vision 2020 is an ad hoc committee led by Jon W. Elvert of six industry professionals that each have a goal to help and support IPS in each of the following areas: 

  • Strategic development to guide IPS forward to meet changing needs and challenges 
  • Solicit feedback and perspective from all members and related vendors/partners 
  • To better serve and support IPS membership over the next ten years 
  • To provide IPS opportunity to grow and better support its membership throughout the world 

Join Us! 

We have affordable membership levels that not only give access to our conferences at a special members rate but also to the Members Area on the website, which is full of exclusive information, web resources, education materials, video services, recognition on the website. Members also receive the Planetarian, a colourful quarterly publication filled with articles, feature columns and calendar of events. The website is currently undergoing a facelift to improve the functionality, navigation and to make it user- friendly on a range of devices. Join on the IPS website.

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