IAU Focus Meeting FM14:
IAU’s role on global astronomy outreach, the latest challenges and bridging different communities

August 23, 2018

Scientific Rationale:

The 2018 IAU General Assembly in Vienna provides an important opportunity for research astronomers and outreach professionals to jointly consider the IAU’s role in global astronomy outreach. Our goal is to enable and coordinate outreach for the greatest good worldwide. We will share what is already being done and discuss what we could do better going forward. All participants in the GA are welcome to join in the discussions. There will be four oral sessions on Thursday, 23 August, each session lasting 1.5 hours. The sessions will each feature a mix of invited and contributed talks, some of which will be in the form of panel discussions. All participants will be charged with recommending ways the IAU can better advance astronomy outreach worldwide. There will also be a dedicated poster session on Friday, 24 August. If you are interested in contributing to the oral and/or poster sessions, please contact Sze-leung Cheung (cheungszeleung@oao.iau.org) and Bill Waller (williamhwaller@gmail.com).


  • Developing and Sharing Big Data for Effective Astronomy Outreach
  • Promoting Citizen Science Projects in Astronomy
  • Brokering Pro-Am Partnerships in Astronomy
  • Supporting Research Scientists in Astronomy Outreach
  • Key Outcomes of the CAP 2018 Meeting in Fukuoka, Japan
  • Effectively Navigating the Media Landscape
  • Effectively Coordinating Museums and Planetaria Worldwide
  • Supporting the Underserved and Dispossessed
  • East Asian and Pacific Region
  • South Asian and Near Eastern Region
  • African Region
  • American and European Region
  • American Region
  • Finding Common Purpose and Implementing Coordinated Action
  • Addressing key aspects of the IAU 2020-2030 Strategic Plan
  • Supporting IAU research scientists in their outreach
  • Supporting amateur astronomers and other volunteers in their outreach
  • Developing and coordinating astronomy information and resources dissemination plans
  • Working with UNESCO, ICSU/ISSC, etc. for more inclusive outreach
  • Formulating a position and statement on terrestrial climate change and other astronomically-related issues of societal concern




Abstract list for FM14
Poster list for FM14

Thursday, 23. Aug.

Bridging the Astronomy Research and Outreach Communities
room: F2
08:30 - IAFRATE, GIULIA (Virtual Observatory for education)
08:45 - Blickhan, Samantha (Transforming Research (and Public Engagement) through Citizen Science)
09:00 - Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma (The PACA Project Ecology: Development Strategy for Successful Pro-Am Observing Campaigns)
09:15 - Vauclair, Sylvie (Pro-am collaboration in Occitanie, outreach and consequences)
09:25 - Kohler, Susanna (AAS Nova and Astrobites as Bridges Between Astronomy Communities)
09:35 - Sandu, Oana (Reporting live on astronomical research — what have we learnt?)
09:45 - Flash Talks

Communicating Astronomy in our Changing World
room: F2
10:30 - Sandu, Oana (Conclusions from the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference 2018)
10:40 - Panel Discussion Effectively Navigating the Media Landscape (Lars Lindberg Christensen, Rick Fienberg, Thiago Goncalves)
11:05 - SubbaRao, Mark (Effectively Coordinating Museums and Planetariums Worldwide)
11:25 - Panel Discussion Supporting the Underserved and Dispossessed (Mike Simmons, Olayinka Fagbemiro, Robert Massey, Ramasamy Vengopal)
11:50 - Squires, Gordon (Astronomy and host communities - considerations of science, culture, environment and relationships with host communities)

The IAU National Outreach Contacts (NOC) Network
room: F2
13:30 - Panel Discussion (NOC activities in Asian and Pacific Region)
13:45 - Panel Discussion (NOC activities in Middle East and African Region)
14:00 - Panel Discussion (NOC activities in Latin American Region)
14:15 - Panel Discussion (NOC activities in North American and European Region)
14:30 - Panel Discussion (NOCs - Finding Common Purpose and Implementing Coordinated Action)

Outreach Action and Advocacy in the Context of IAU’s 2020-2030 Strategic Plan
room: F2
15:30 - van Dishoeck, Ewine (The IAU 2020-2030 Strategic Plan: outreach connecting the world)
15:45 - Shibata, Yukiko (Astronomy Translation Network (ATN))
15:55 - Walker, Connie (Globe at Night: Citizen-Science Assessing the Darkness of our Skies)
16:05 - Flash Talks
16:08 - Panel Discussion Strategic plan 2020-2030
16:35 - Panel Discussion Remaining topics going forward



  • Sze-leung Cheung (co-chair) - Tokyo, Japan
  • William Waller (co-chair) - Rockport, USA
  • Lina Canas - Tokyo, Japan
  • Chenzhou Cui - Beijing, China
  • Nanjing Samir Dhurde - Pune, India
  • Richard Tresch Fienberg - Watertown, USA
  • Andrew Fraknoi - Los Altos Hills, USA
  • Beatriz Garcia - Godoy Cruz, Argentina
  • Kevin Govender - Cape Town, South Africa
  • Thilina Heenatigala - Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Oana Sandu - Bucharest, Romania
  • Mike Simmons - Calabasas, USA
  • Mark SubbaRao - Chicago, USA
  • Sylvie Vauclair - Toulouse, France



Sze-leung Cheung 


Link to External Website:




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