IAU XXX General Assembly Press Information

Press registration
Press briefings
Press releases
Invited discourses
Public events
Other events
Press rooms and facilities
More information

Austria will become the centre of the Universe at the end of August, when more than 3000 astronomers from some 88 countries gather in Vienna for the XXX General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The meeting will take place from 20–31 August 2018 and will feature almost 3000 of scientific presentations, numerous policy discussions and several exciting media events. The IAU offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public information officers.

The IAU General Assembly is held every three years and invites astronomers from around the world to come together to advance astronomy through international collaboration. Participants of the General Assembly in Vienna will address key topics in contemporary astronomy and assess the latest scientific progress in a number of specialised areas.

With seven symposia extending over several days, 15 multi-session focus meetings, nine IAU Division meetings, dozens of IAU Commission meetings, and daily general poster sessions, the XXX General Assembly’s scientific programme will be the broadest in the union’s history. A detailed programme will be published at the beginning of May. Journalists and public information officers are invited to sign up for the IAU General Assembly via the pre-registration form.

The XXX General Assembly will be hosted by the Austria Center Vienna and will be the first General Assembly to be held in Austria. It is being organised jointly by the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Austrian Society for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Austria has a long tradition in astronomy, with several historically-significant astronomers having been based there. Nowadays, astronomy teaching and research takes place not just in Vienna, but also at the University of Graz, the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Innsbruck.

The year 2018 also marks Austria’s 10th anniversary as a European Southern Observatory (ESO) Member State. This relationship has spawned an unprecedented range of collaborations, consortia memberships, and development of expertise in astronomical data processing and instrumentation. Austrian researchers are now heavily involved in the development of current and future ESO instrumentation. Austria has been a European Space Agency (ESA) Member State since ESA was founded in 1975. Since then it has made significant contributions to past, present and future space missions.


Full Name: XXX General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union

Date: 20–31 August 2018

Venue address:
Austria Center Vienna
Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1
A-1220 Vienna

Purpose: In August 2018, astronomers from all around the globe will gather for two weeks for the IAU General Assembly in Vienna, to discuss and evaluate their most recent discoveries and observations, to make decisions on fundamental issues facing astronomy, and to organise international cooperation. Over the course of the conference, General Assembly participants will also have an opportunity to experience a wide range of cultural activities in Austria and surrounding countries.

Participants: The IAU XXX General Assembly is expected to bring together around 3000 astronomers from around the world to Vienna, to present and discuss the latest scientific breakthroughs and discoveries in the rapidly evolving scientific field of astronomy.

National host: University of Vienna

Visa information: For official information on visas for travel to Austria, please click HERE. To receive an invitation letter for your visa application or other purposes, please send an email to the Eventmanagement of the University of Vienna at congress@univie.ac.at (indicate "invitation letter - press" in subject line).

Travel and lodging information: The conference organisers have secured a special offer with Lufthansa for flights to the General Assembly and have pre-selected hotels for the benefit of its participants. These rooms will be allocated to participants free of any handling fee.

Press Registration

Please complete the pre-registration form. Once you have been approved by the IAU Press Officer, you will receive the official registration form to complete.

Press Briefings

  • First press conference: 20th August, 10:00 AM, ACV, level 0, room 0.94

Invited discourses

The following Invited Discourses are overview talks given by scientists who are highly eminent in their fields.

  • Wednesday, 22 August: “The new exploration of the Universe through gravitational-wave observations ” by Marica Branchesi
  • Thursday, 23 August: “Galaxy Evolution in 3D” by Lisa Kewley
  • Monday, 27 August: “Observing Planet Formation” by Sean Andrews

Public events

A variety of events have been organised for the general public:

  • Our Place in Space
  • Scienc Week for Kids
  • Astronomical Youth Day

For further events click here.

Other events

  • Monday, 20 August – General Assembly Opening Ceremony
  • Tuesday, 28 August – 100 years celebration
  • Wednesday, 29 August – Conference Dinner
  • Thursday, 30 August – Hand Over Ceremony

Press rooms and facilities

Press rooms and facilities The Press Office for the XXX IAU General Assembly will be responsible for all contact with the press and the media, providing information and material related to the General Assembly and to astronomy in general.

The IAU will operate a Press Office (room 0.44/0.45) on all weekdays from 9:00 to 18:00, and a Press Conference Room (0.94/0.95). It will have hard-wired and wireless Internet hubs for the convenience of reporters who are filing to a deadline. The Interview Room is available to the media for one-on-one interviews and is reserved and scheduled as requests are received. The Press Office will also have a fixed-net telephone, printer, access to copying machine, etc. We encourage PIOs and scientists to provide hard copies of press releases, background brochures, visuals, etc. The IAU Press Office will update a wall with newspaper clippings. 

 The Press Office will be closed during the weekend 25–26 August.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.


Press Office fixed-line phone (Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00):

+43 676 319 9589

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621
Email: lars@eso.org 

Dr. Thomas Posch  
University of Vienna
Department of Astrophysics
Türkenschanzstraße 17
Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 664 817 54 20 
Email: thomas.posch@univie.ac.at 

Raquel Shida
IAU Deputy Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 177
Cell: +49 151 5066 2673
Email: rshida@eso.org 

Keplersche Nachrichten
The official GA e-newspaper

XXX IAU General Assembly | ACV - Austria Center Vienna  | Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1  | 1220 Vienna