Inaugural Conference of the Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development

Public and media are invited to the inaugural conference of the Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development (PLOAD) that will be held at Centro Cultural de Cascais on the Thursday 5 May 2016, at 14:00 and hosted by Câmara Municipal de Cascais.

This gathering will mark the launch of the official website and the signatures for the memorandum of understanding with representatives from Portugal, Brazil, São Tome and Principe, Cape Verde and Mozambique. The representatives will discuss the challenges and state-of-the-art approaches to improve the cooperative in the Portuguese speaking communities in the field of astronomy and space sciences.

PLOAD is hosted at Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia (NUCLIO), in collaboration with the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA), in Portugal to deal with all aspects relating to a Portuguese language and culture. The language centre was officially established during the General Assembly of International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Honolulu, Hawaii on 13 August 2015 by the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) along with four other coordinating offices in Jordan, Armenia, Nigeria, and Colombia.

Language Expertise Centres are offices based around the world with similar objectives as the OAD but with regional focus; to further the use of astronomy as a tool for development by mobilizing the human and financial resources necessary in order to realise the field’s scientific, technological and cultural benefits to society. These offices work closely with the OAD in order to implement the IAU Strategic Plan. “Regions” which they focus on could be geographical (neighbouring countries) or cultural (language or cultural similarities spread over a large geographic region).

The event is free and open to media and interested parties.

To Register your interest, please visit:

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together about 12 000 distinguished astronomers from around the world. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.

The IAU established the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). The OAD was officially opened on 16 April 2011 at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. It was tasked with the implementation of the IAU Strategic Plan including establishment of regional offices and three astronomy-for-development “Task Forces”. The OAD coordinates an annual open Call for Proposals seeking innovative projects for each of the task forces: Universities and Research (TF1); Children and Schools (TF2); and Public Outreach (TF3).

Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia (NUCLIO) is a nonprofit organisation created by professional astronomers with the goal of promoting science outreach and education. NUCLIO coordinates the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), one of the largest teacher training movements in the world with participation of more than 100 countries. Since its establishment, the organisation has reached directly over 10 000 students and 2000 teachers. In Portugal NUCLIO is responsible for iconic educational projects such as International Asteroid Search Campaign, Universe Awareness, Astronomers Without Borders and Dark Sky Rangers.



Sara Anjos
PLOAD Coordination

Cell: +351 936 679 210

Rosa Doran
President of the Executive Council

Cell: +351 966 781 264

Thilina Heenatigala
Press Officer
Sri Lanka

Cell: +94 716 245 545