Special Session SS30  1-2 July 2021

Astronomy for Planet Earth: forging a sustainable future

Aims and scope

Astronomy provides society with a unique perspective of both our place in the Universe and the fragility of our planet. In the face of increasing global temperatures and environmental degradation there is a pressing need for astronomers to realise the role that they can play in communicating the uniqueness of planet Earth and ensuring a sustainable future.

At this year's EAS conference, we are building upon the momentum created last year for a sustainable future of (European) astronomy and get ready for concrete climate action: having established the main sources of CO_2 emissions in our field (air travel and electricity for supercomputing and the operation of big telescopes), the next step is to get everyone on board and define a realistic plan that is commensurate with the immense carbon emission reductions that are required in the next ten years.


Special session on Thursday, 1 July

9:00 - 10:30: "Today": reports about detailed carbon budgets, emission reduction strategies of existing facilities and institutes; best practices and lessons learned from online conferences

11:00 - 12:30: "Tomorrow": a plan to decarbonise European astronomy; sustainability built into the designs for future institutes and telescopes

16:30 - 18:00: "Together": climate communication from an astronomical perspective

Lunch session on Friday, 2 July

with a panel discussion about the future of the EAS annual meeting.

Invited speakers

Special session on Thursday, 1 July

9:00 - 10:30: "Today"

  • Debra Fisher (Yale University)
  • Matthias Steinmetz (AIP Potsdam)
  • Olivier Berné (IRAP, Toulouse)
  • Robert Massey (Deputy Executive Director, RAS)

11:00 - 12:30: "Tomorrow"

  • Kimberly Nicholas (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • Claudia Cicone (University of Oslo)
  • Lewis Ball (Director of Operations, SKAO)
  • Clarisse Aujoux (Sorbonne Université, Paris)

16:30 - 18:00: "Together"

  • Michael Mann (Director of Earth System Science Center, Penn State University)
  • Karen Olson (University of Arizona)
  • Andy Williams (ESO)
  • Alison Anderson (University of Plymouth)

Lunch session on Friday, 2 July

  • Xavier Barcons (ESO)
  • Hannah Dalgleish (Oxford University / Namibia University)
  • Sarah White (Rhodes university, South Africa)
  • Vanessa Moss (CSIRO)
...and with a panel discussion about the future of the EAS annual meeting.
  • Sara Lucatello (INAF Padova; EAS Vice President)
  • Johan Knapen (IAC Tenerife; member of the EWASS board)
  • Vanessa Moss (CSIRO)
  • Huub Röttgering (Scientific director, Leiden Observatory)
  • Joop Schaye (EAS 2020/2021 SOC chair, Leiden Observatory)
  • Sarah White (Rhodes university, South Africa / EAS inclusion committee)

Scientific organisers

Leo Burtscher (co-chair), Hannah Dalgleish (co-chair), Tobias Beuchert, Faustine Cantalloube, Victoria Grinberg, Natasha Hurley-Walker, Mathieu Isidro, Knud Jahnke, Michelle Willebrands


In case of questions, please contact the EAS sustainability working group at sustainability-eas @ unige.ch.

Updated on Wed Oct 06 07:04:27 CEST 2021