Division C: Education, Outreach and Heritage

Division C Days – Education, Outreach and Heritage

IAU General Assembly, Cape Town, South Africa

Friday 9 and Monday 12 August 2024

(5 sessions of 1.5 hours each)


  1. Highlights and key achievements under the Commissions’ remit (2 sessions):
    1. Commission C1: Astronomy Education and Development
    2. Commission C2: Communicating Astronomy with the Public
    3. Commission C3: History of Astronomy
    4. Commission C4: World Heritage of Astronomy

We anticipate that the majority of talks in these sessions will be invited talks. There may be space for a few contributed talks (to be confirmed). Posters are always welcome.

  1. Celebrating African astronomy education, outreach and heritage (2 sessions)
    1. Highlights of the diversity of programmes and activities in Africa (broadly defined following the United Nations) and their impact on the world.
  2. Astronomy in conflict zones (1 session)

Scientific Organising Committee

  • Richard de Grijs (Australia/China Nanjing) (Chair)
  • Edward Gomez (UK) (Co-chair)
  • Mirjana Povic (Ethiopia/Spain)
  • Eleni Chatzichristou (Belgium)
  • Susana Deustua (USA)
  • Steven Gullberg (USA)
  • Mamta Pommier (France)
  • Xiaochun Sun (China)
  • Akihiko Tomita (Japan)
  • Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (Thailand) (President Commission C1)
  • Oana Sandu (Germany) (President Commission C2)
  • Christiaan Sterken (Belgium) (President Commission C3)
  • Juan Antonio Belmonte (Spain) (President Commission C4

Friday 9 August 2024

Session 1: 10:30–12:00

Theme: Commissions’ Highlights and Key Achievements I

10:30–10:40 Remembering Paulo Bretones

10:40–11:00 Tomita Akihiko (Japan): Astronomy Day in Schools: Commonality and diversity of cultural astronomy and collaboration of research projects [Commission C1] [invited]

11:00–11:20 Aniket Sule (t.b.c.; India): Motivating school students towards astronomy through competitions [Commission C1] [invited]

11:20–11:40 [Commission C2; t.b.a.] [invited]

11:40–12:00 [Contributed talk t.b.a.]

Session 2: 13:30–15:00

Theme: Commissions’ Highlights and Key Achievements II

13:30–13:50 Sara Schechner (USA): How History Touches the Sky: Historical Instruments, Archives, and Observatories, and Why History Is Vital to Modern Astronomical Research [Commission C3] [invited]

13:50–14:10 Michael Burton (UK): World Heritage and Astronomy: Inscriptions and progress [Commission C4] [invited]

14:10–14:30 Steven Gullberg (USA): Commission C5 Cultural Astronomy: A new asset for Cultural Astronomy support throughout the IAU [Commission C5] [invited]

14:30–15:00 [Division C PhD Prize Winner 2023 t.b.a.] [invited]

Monday 12 August 2024

Session 3: 10:30–12:00

Theme: Celebrating African astronomy education, outreach and heritage I

10:30–11:00 Takalani Nemaungani (South Africa): The South African Government’s vision of using astronomy as one of the priority fields for social and economic development [invited]

11:00–11:20 Carla (Sharpe) Mitchell (South Africa): The SKA’s development and its impact on Southern Africa [invited]

11:20–11:40 Christiaan Sterken (Belgium): The cultural heritage of the African Arc of the 30th Meridian [invited]

11:40–12:00 [Contributed talk t.b.a.]

Session 4: 13:30–15:00

Theme: Celebrating African astronomy education, outreach and heritage II

13:30–14:00 Invited speaker from the African Astronomical Society (t.b.c.) [invited]

14:00–14:20 Solomon Tessema (Ethiopia): The development of astronomy in Ethiopia and its future prospects [invited]

14:20–14:40 Zouhair Benkhaldoun (Morocco): The development of astronomy in Morocco and its future prospects [invited]

14:40–15:00 [Contributed talk t.b.a.]

Session 5: 15:30–17:00

Theme: Astronomy in conflict zones

15:30–15:50 Thilina Heenatigala (Japan): Perspectives on Decolonising Astronomy: Towards An Inclusive Environment (decolonisation of astronomy) [invited]

15:50–16:10 Francesca Fragkoudi (UK): Astronomy as a tool for peace on the post-conflict island of Cyprus: The case of the Columba–Hypatia project [invited]

16:10–16:30 [Invited talk t.b.c.]

16:30–17:00 Panel discussion; chair: Mirjana Povic (Ethiopia/Spain/Uganda); panel members t.b.a.

You can learn more about the work of this Division at this website https://iau.org/science/scientific_bodies/divisions/C/