The XXXI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) was held from 2-11 August, 2022 in Busan, Korea and online. It was the first hybrid General Assembly, with around 1200 in-person participants and around 700 attending online. The conference included seven symposia, 10 multi-session Focus Meetings, as well as meetings of IAU Offices, Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups.
The OAD team actively participated in the GA, in-person and online. OAD sessions were spread over two days, allowing IAU members and delegates to engage with the work of the OAD and to contribute to shaping its future. It was an ideal opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of Astronomy-for-Development, and establish the roadmap of such activities in line with the IAU Strategy 2020-2030.
The sessions covered the following key topics:
- OAD Flagship Projects
- Global structure in astronomy-for-development – OAD’s Regional Offices
- OAD Projects – evaluation and future directions; impact of COVID-19 and related projects
- Interdisciplinary imperatives: synergies between natural and social sciences for the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Reviewing the OAD: Past, present and future of Astronomy-for-Development
- Synergies between IAU structures (OAD, OAO, OYA, OAE, IAU Divisions, etc.)
The OAD engaged visitors to its exhibition space at the IAU booth, shared with the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO), IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE), Office for Young Astronomers (OYA), and the new Centre for the Protection of Dark and Quiet Skies from Satellite Constellation Interference (CPS). This was matched by a complementary online exhibition space. OAD Fellows Tawanda Chingozha, Armine Patatanyan, and Nikhita Madanpall also gave short talks at the exhibition which were very well received. Team members met with people from the various OAD and IAU networks, including the IAU Executive, Regional Offices, projects, other Offices networks, IAU Divisions and Working Groups.
The next IAU General Assembly will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in August 2024.
Presentations from GA 2022
Role of science in development – case of astronomy by Tawanda Chingozha, OAD development economist