UN GA76 Science Summit: Astronomy to Advance SDGs

Astronomy to advance SDGs at UN GA76 science summit

The Office of Astronomy for Development, led by its European Regional Office, organized a session on Astronomy to Advance SDGs at the United Nations General Assembly Science Summit.

The UN GA76 Science Summit, held online from September 14-30, aimed to raise awareness of the role and contribution of science to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It demonstrated initiatives that provide models for global science mechanisms and activities in support of the SDGs. The event was organised under auspices of Intelligence in Science (ISC) and AERAP.

The OAD and its European Regional Office hosted session AS15 on “The Unique Role of Astronomy to Advance the SDGs” on 15 September 2021, 15.00 – 17.30 CEST. The session was complementary to the UN GA75 Dialogue – Astronomy: A Unique Educational Tool for furthering the SDGs and Stimulating a Global Perspective.


15.00 – 15.05 Welcome and context
Kevin Govender, Director IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

15.05 – 15.10 Astronomy for Development – The IAU Role
Debra Elmegreen, IAU President (Vassar College, USA)

15.10 – 15.40 Introduction to Astronomy for Development
Grace Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of    South Africa and Honorary Professor of Astronomy for Development at Leiden University

15.40 – 15.50 Astronomy and the SDGs
Chiara Moenter  (Windesheim College / Leiden University)

15.50 – 16.05 Radio Astronomy Skills, Technology and Facilities in advancing the SDGs
Anna Scaife (University of Manchester, UK)

16.05. – 16.25  The role of the European Southern Observatory in advancing the SDGs
Xavier Barcons, Director General European Southern Observatory

16.25 – 16.35 Astronomy and Climate Action
Violette Impellizzeri, Astronomers for Planet Earth (Yale University)

16.35 – 16.45 The African Astronomical Society (AfAS): contributing towards SDG’s.
Charles Takalana, African Astronomical Society (Cape Town)

16.45 – 16.55  Astrotourism and Economic Development
Sonal Asgotraa, Project Manager, Astrostays

16.55 – 17.05 Summary of OAD projects
Ramasamy Venugopal (IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, Cape Town)

17.05 – 17.15 Description of 4 selected projects, each for 2 min – prerecorded

17.15 – 17.35    Closing remarks, with concluding resolution about funding and discussion
George Miley, Previous IAU Vice President

Registration was free and open to all.

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