Data and Development

The OAD is engaging with development economists from the RESEP centre (Research on Socio-Economic Policy) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. ReSEP is a group of researchers in the Department of Economics that has a long term research focus on issues of poverty, income distribution, social mobility, economic development and social policy. 

Through a series of talks and discussions, OAD and RESEP are exploring common ground between astronomy and economics, such as skills sharing. Astronomers, for example, use image classification techniques that could be applied by economists using satellite data to study socio-economic conditions.

The first set of talks was presented this week. The OAD team presented astronomy for development and astronomy techniques to economists, statisticians and other researchers at Stellenbosch. It was followed by a presentation by Dr Dieter Von Fintel, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University to a group of astronomers at the South African Astronomical Observatory.

Astronomy and Development: Tools, questions and synergies
presented by Kevin Govender, Vanessa McBride and Ramasamy Venugopal, OAD

Data and Development: exploring synergies between social science and astronomy
by Dieter Von Fintel, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University 

Kevin Govender presenting astronomy for development to economists at Stellenbosch University

Dieter Von Fintel, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University presenting Development Economics to a group of astronomers at the South African Astronomical Observatory