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IAU Office for Young Astronomers

IAU Office for Young Astronomers

August 2-8, 2022

Title of Program: The school model for the Office for Young Astronomers


Itziar Aretxaga (INAOE, Mexico, co-chair), David Mota (Univ. Oslo, Norway, co-chair), Jaime Forero (Univ. de los Andes, Colombia), Michele Gerbaldi (IAP, France), Edward Guinan (Univ. Villanova, USA), Habib Khosroshahi (IMP, Iran), Shirin Haque (Univ. West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago), Per Barth Lilje (Univ. Oslo, Norway), Mirjana Povic (ESSTI, Ethiopia/IAA, Spain), Shengbang Qian (YNOs, China)


The OYA has as its main program the International Schools for Young Astronomers (ISYA), started in 1967 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and nowadays also co-sponsored by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. It organizes three-week intensive graduate schools in parts of the world where students have less opportunity to be directly exposed to the full extent of up-to-date astrophysics. We will have a focus meeting that analyzes the past successes and challenges that current students face to contribute to Astronomy research, education, outreach and development.

Key Topics

  • Learnings from a 55-yr long history of International Schools for Young Astronomers
  • Challenges and lessons for graduate students in the developing world nowadays
  • Interaction between ISYAs and other regional and world-wide specialized schools
  • Initiatives to make a stronger ISYA program


Session 1 (4th Aug, 10:30): A 53 year-long history
1.1 Itziar Aretxaga (INAOE, Mexico) & David Mota (Univ. Oslo, Norway), ISYA Directors (30min): The 5-decade long International Schoold for Young Astronomers program under observation

1.2 Testimonies from around the globe, alumni turned professors (10 min each = 40 min).  
- Mónica Rubio (Univ. of Chile): My experience in the International School for Young Astronomers
- Xiaohui Fan (Univ. of Arizona, USA): ISYA 1992 and my career in astronomy.
- Somaya Saad (NRIAG, Egypt): The learned lessons from ISYA.
- Kingsley Opkala (Univ. of Nigeria): Reflection on the 1999 International School for Young Astronomers and its Impact on Personal and Professional life.  

1.3 Open discussion with testimony speakers: what successes we should never loose in ISYA organization. (20 min)  

Session 2 (4th August, 13:30-15pm): Challenges nowadays
2.1 Chris Woolston (Careers Nature, USA, 30 min) The Challenges and Possibilities of a Science Career: Lessons from Nature  

2.2 Testimonies from around the globe, recent ISYA alumni (10 min each = 40 min)
- Luis Salazar-Manzano (Univ. of Texas Río Grande, USA): Challenges faced by Latin American astronomy students
- Etseganet Getachew (ESSTI, Ethiopia): Challenges for African's Women in Science
- Daudi Manzengo & Privatus Prius (Univ. Dodoma, Tanzania): Challenges facing PhD students in astronomy, practical experience.
- Fatima Hira (Univ. of Karachi, Pakistan): Challenges of PhD students nowadays  

2.3 Open discussion with testimony spekers: what aspects enhance the success of current students (20 min)  

Session 3 (4th August, 15:15-16:45): Interactions
3. 1 (1 hr) Round table: interaction with other preparatory and advanced schools: Mariano Méndez (Univ. Groningen, The Netherlands; I-HOW/COSPAR), Basilio Ruiz (IAC, Spain; IAC Winter Schools); ISYA Directors.  
3.2 (30min) Michele Gerbaldi (IAP, France; OYA Steering Committee) and Jose Miguel Rodríguez Espinosa (IAC, Spain; IAU General Secretary): challenges perceived from within the IAU

Session 4 (8th August, 15:15-16:45): Relationships with other programs and initiatives
- (15min) Paul Bretones (Univ. Federal de São Carlos, Brazil): Astronomy Education Studies in the ISYA programs  
- Open discussion: future trends and plans for the ISYA school

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