Special Session SS9  5 April 2018

European forum of astronomical communities

Aims and scope

The European Forum of Astronomical Communities has been launched during EWASS 2017 in Prague. We propose a continuation, to be held during next EWASS 2018 in Liverpool.

Summary of Goals:

- Maintain an EWASS forum for discussing progress on small and big astronomy projects; - Help to develop the human resources connected with large European projects; - Inform more effectively on suitable visitor programmes and exchange schemes; - Develop and maintain a pragmatic plan for effective mid-term measures to promote progress.


Astronomy on the European territory still often relies on optical night-time telescopes of modest size in mediocre sites, although observational opportunities also exist at the ESO observatories and elsewhere, in space through the European Space Agency (ESA), in radio astronomy and in European-scale facilities at other wavelengths. Cooperation agreements have been signed with some of these projects and countries, but not all such arrangements are effectively used for astronomical science, and bureaucratic obstacles may impede the progress of some national communities. Despite good intentions and some notable exceptions, overall progress has been disappointingly slow.

The European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the ASTRONET consortium of funding agencies for European astronomy have joined forces in establishing the European Forum of Astronomical Communities (FORUM), combining the grassroots contacts of the EAS with the financial resources of the agencies. Their common long-term goal is the successful use of the next generation of large research infrastructures by the entire European scientific community, and the gradual elimination of the imbalance between more and less developed regions in European astronomy. The goal of the FORUM is to discuss and initiate a set of pragmatic bottom-up actions to make visible progress wherever possible.


    • Roger Davis: EAS actions (tbc)
    • Denis Mourard & Ronald Stark: ASTRONET: situation and prospective
    • Agata Karska & Andrew Williams: Bridging the gap : actions to advance the CEE countries in astronomy
    • Areg Mickaelian, Susanna Hakopian, Sona Farmanyan & Gor. Mikayelyan: IAU South West and Central Asian ROAD and European Eastern partnership in astronomy: collaboration in research, education and public outreach
    • Alexander Kreplin, Stefan Kraus & Claire Davies: Scientific opportunities enabled the VLT Interferometer
    • Final discussions and tasks assignment

    Invited speakers

    • Roger Davis (tbc) (EAS)
    • Denis Mourard (ASTRONET)
    • Agata Karska (Centre for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland)

    Scientific organisers
    Johannes Andersen, Lex Kaper, Denis Mourard, Agata Karska, Birgitta Nordstrom, Jan Palous, Andrew Williams

    Jan Palous: palous @ ig.cas.cz

    Updated on Mon Feb 12 12:00:47 CET 2018