Lunch Session LS11
4 April 2018
European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development
This session is to engage with the European astronomical community on the vision and plans for this newly established office. In short, the purpose of the office is to use astronomy to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is a partnership between the International Astronomical Union, European Astronomical Society and Leiden University.
Aims and scope
In 2011 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) established the global Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in Cape Town, South Africa, in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation and Department of Science and Technology. As of 2018 the OAD has supported 122 astronomy-for-development projects reaching over 85 countries. Part of the mandate of this global office was the establishment of regional offices around the world which would focus on a particular language or cultural region.
The European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (ROAD) was officially established on 26 February 2018 at a signing ceremony in Leiden, the Netherlands. The event was attended by the South African Minister of Science and Technology and marked the formation of the tenth Regional Office of Astronomy for Development. Other offices are based in Armenia, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Jordan, Nigeria, Portugal, Thailand and Zambia. All offices share the vision of "Astronomy for a better world!"
Europe is a region in which astronomy is highly developed and that operates leading world-class astronomical research facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum. These include pan-European astronomical organisations such as ESO, ESA and the SKA office and national radio and optical institutes. Although the challenges differ from ROADs in developing regions, there are many ways in which astronomy can be used as a tool to build human capacity in Europe and in which European astronomy can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The European ROAD will have the following mission:
1. Implementation within Europe of the IAU Strategic Plan, without duplicating relevant activities of astronomical facility organisations, such as ESO, ESA and SKA and taking into account the recommendations of the 2011 ASTRONET report commissioned by European government agencies.
2. Mobilising resources within Europe for the implementation of the IAU Strategic Plan
3. Contributing to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Europe
The talks in this session will reflect on "big picture" issues and the broad plans for the office. The session will essentially aim to introduce this newly established office to the community that it intends to serve, and seek engagement with the broader European astronomical community on the topic of astronomy-for-development, especially as it relates to the European context.
- 13:15 Welcome and overview (Kevin Govender, IAU Office of Astronomy for Development)
- 13:20 Astronomy for Development Globally (Vanessa McBride, IAU Office of Astronomy for Development)
- 13:30 European Astronomical Society's involvement (Lex Kaper, European Astronomical Society and University of Amsterdam)
- 13:40 European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (George Miley, Leiden University and European ROAD)
- 13:50 Discussion (facilitated by Kevin Govender)
- 14:10 Closing and way forward
- Dr Vanessa McBride (IAU Office of Astronomy for Development)
- Prof George Miley (Leiden University/European ROAD)
- Prof Lex Kaper (European Astronomical Society and University of Amsterdam)
kg @ astro4dev.org
Updated on Wed Mar 28 12:44:53 CEST 2018