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IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

August 2-8, 2022

IAU Astronomy Outreach: Building Bridges Between the IAU And the Public

Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC)

Jorge Rivero González, IAU100 Coordinator (Spain) (M)

Oana Sandu (Barbulete), C2 President (Current) (Romania) (F)

Richard de Grijs, Division C President (Australia) (M)

Mamta Pommier, Chair of Executive Committee WG Women in Astronomy, (F) (France)

Aniket Sule, Co-Chair WG Pro-Am Relations (India) (M)

Javier Mejuto, Co-Chair of Inter-Commission C1-C2-C3-C4 WG Astronomy in Culture (WGAC), NOC Honduras, (Honduras), (M)

Seo-gu Lee, GA Busan LOC & NOC South Korea (Korea) (M)

Shirin Haque, NOC Trinidad and Tobago, (Trinidad and Tobago) (F)

Marieke Baan, NOC Netherlands, C2 OC liaison, (F)

Ramasamy Venugopal (South Africa), Co-Chair CAP Conference WG (M) (South Africa)

Zara Randriamanakoto, National Committee for Astronomy Madagascar President, NOC Madagascar, (Madagascar), (F)

Somaya Mohamed Saad, National Committee for Astronomy Egypt President IAU (Egypt) (F)


Ten years ago, two milestones helped set the course of the IAU outreach activities for the following decade: the unprecedented success of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and the IAU Strategic Plan for 2010-2020, focused on astronomy for development. In the following decade, the IAU OAO would be involved in the coordination of large scale projects, such as Cosmic Light (International Year of Light, 2015), NameExoWorlds (2015) and the IAU 100 years celebrations (2019), that rely on the network of National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) as the backbone for its international implementation.  With the new IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030, the IAU envisions a clear core goal for the IAU communications and outreach, in which the IAU engages the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy. The timing of the General Assembly is ideal to understand with the primary participation of the IAU members, the (1) framework and alignment of the programs planned and being implemented; (2) the contributions as a group, that the IAU community can bring to achieve a successful implementation of the Strategic Plan and (3) the legacy of the IAU100 celebrations was incorporated and built upon.  With international collaboration, sustainability and the IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030 at the core of our strategy for the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, we are reshaping our actions for the next decade. We envision the IAU outreach community as bridge-builders, facilitating access to information across our community, from professional astronomers to the general public, and continuing our pursuit of taking astronomy to all.   

Key topics

  • 1) The legacy of the IAU100 Celebrations;
  • 2) Access and Communication: The IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030
  • 2.1) Large scale volunteer networks: best practices in community building;
  • 2.2) Critical thinking and astronomy communication through (1) IAU-member public engagement, (2) Professional-Amateur relations and (3) Citizen Science activities; and (4) Indigenous astronomical knowledge;
  • 2.3) Open Science and Public Friendly Access to Astronomical Information;
  • 2.4) Dark and Quiet Skies Protection and the Pale Blue Dot message;
  • 3) Outreach, communication and accessibility: barriers and bridges in engaging the public,
  • 4) Bridging outreach with research, education and development: building a framework of collaboration.
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