OAD session at Science Forum South Africa: “Astronomy for a better world”

In this session we explore how the multiple facets of astronomy can be used as a tool for sustainable development. Modern astronomy tests the limits of our human ingenuity when it comes to developing the tools and methods with which to understand the universe and its contents. Yet, we also develop connections with astronomy through our cultures, our ideas on philosophy and our appreciation of the beauty and elegance of the night sky. In this way, astronomy can form a powerful nexus between curiosity-driven science and socioeconomic development. This session will journey from the global context towards a focus on Africa, discussing the societal impact of science in general and then astronomy in particular, highlighting key opportunities for the African continent in particular.

Thursday, 7 December 2023
11am SAST

Track 5: Enhancing STI capabilities for Africa’s development

Moderator: Kevin Govender, Office of Astronomy for Development

Talk 1: Vanessa McBride, International Science Council

Talk 2: Ramasamy Venugopal, Dominic Vertue, Joyful Mdhluli, Office of Astronomy for Development

Talk 3: Duduzile Kubheka, BRICS Astronomy

Talk 4: Charles Takalana, African Astronomical Society


11:00 – 11:05 Welcome and overview of the session (Kevin Govender)

11:05 – 11:20 Science as a Global Public Good (Vanessa McBride)
11:20 – 11:35 The Office of Astronomy for Development and its flagship projects (Ramasamy Venugopal, Dominic Vertue, Joyful Mdhluli)
11:35 – 11:50 Socioeconomic impact of the BRICS Intelligent Telescope and Data Network (Duduzile Kubheka)
11:50 – 12:05 Astronomy for Development in Africa and the IAU General Assembly 2024 (Charles Takalana)
12:05 – 12: 30 Open facilitated discussion with panelists and audience