Background: The OAD was established in 2011 as a project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as part of their decadal strategic plan to use astronomy for global development. The mission of the HdA is to share the fascination of astronomy and astrophysics with a broad audience and, in particular, with schoolchildren; to foster the exchange of knowledge between scientists; and to communicate the results of astronomical research to the media and to the public. To this end, the HdA has been involved in, and contributed to, a number of international activities. Both the OAD and HdA recognise that astronomy plays an important role as a “gateway science” attracting people to the fields of science, engineering and technology at all levels including university, school and public. One of the OAD’s objectives is to establish regional coordinating centres across the world and this is the area of collaboration that this MoU addresses.
Areas of Collaboration:
1. Coordination of relevant contacts between Germany and OAD target countries
In the work of both the OAD and the HdA there will be need to identify contacts within Germany and in other parts of the world, specifically countries targeted by OAD activities. In this area, each party can help the other. The role of HdA is to facilitate the identification and communication with contacts within Germany regarding activities that the OAD may need to collaborate on. The OAD role is to facilitate the identification and communication with contacts in OAD target countries regarding activities that the HdA may need to collaborate on.
2. Contribution of staff time
Due to her knowledge and personal background, HdA staff member Cecilia Scorza, will be able to advise the OAD on topics related to Latin America.
3. OAD-related projects at the HdA
At times, HdA will pursue projects directly related to the OAD’s goals and mission. Whenever such a project arises, HdA and OAD can agree to designate said project an “OAD-related project at the HdA”. HdA will execute, and find funding for OAD-related projects. The OAD will support OAD-related projects at the HdA as constraints on time, manpower and context permit.