Since its founding in 1893, the Geological Society of Washington has held its meetings at the Cosmos Club, which had been founded as a social club with John Wesley Powell and several other noted geologists among its initial members. The Cosmos Club charges us both a rental fee and a per-drink charge; in 2018/19 the average cost per meeting was about $1,115. The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has now made a proposal to host our meetings at its facility (about a 7-minute walk north of the Dupont Circle metro station, with a parking deck directly across the street) at a flat cost of $900 per meeting (including all drinks). Details of their offer can be viewed here.
AGU is offering us this significantly lower rate for a period of 3 years. The AGU facility is a carbon net-zero building with many sustainability amenities, has more modern projection and recording technology, and would associate GSW with the largest organization of Earth science professionals in the world. However, it is not yet known how relations with an organization so much larger than the Cosmos Club might impact GSW’s routine and membership. The GSW Council had hoped that we could have at least one “trial” meeting at the AGU facility this fall for the Bradley Lecture on Nov. 13 so we booked their large conference room, and AGU confirmed that reservation. Subsequently, AGU had a higher priority group that they wanted to host in their conference room, so they asked us to move. AGU has offered to reimburse the GSW for the rental of the Powell auditorium at the Cosmos Club, and we were able to secure that room again for the Bradley lecture on Nov. 13.
This poll is a nonbinding referendum to get the GSW membership’s initial reactions to the proposed move to AGU as our venue. The issue will be discussed by the GSW Council at its meeting on 23 October. There will be no final decision on a move until spring 2020, after we have had an opportunity for at least one “trial” meeting at the AGU building.
The options under consideration are:
(1) move all GSW meetings to the AGU facility
(2) keep all GSW meetings at the Cosmos Club
(3) split GSW meetings between AGU and Cosmos Club
This poll will be open for about a week. Please complete the poll by Sunday, October 20th.
You must enter your email address to ensure that each member only completes this survey once. The email identification information will be removed by the pollster before the results are shared with Council. (In other words, all comments will be “anonymized” before any GSW officer sees them.)