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:

  • Tomita Akihiko (Japan)
  • Juan Antonio Belmonte (Spain)
  • Eleni Chatzichristou (Belgium)
  • Richard de Grijs (Australia/China Nanjing) [chair]
  • Susana Deustua (USA)
  • Edward Gomez (UK) [co-chair]
  • Steven Gullberg (USA)
  • Mamta Pommier (France)
  • Mirjana Pović (Ethiopia/Spain/Uganda)
  • Oana Sandu (Germany)
  • Xiaochun Sun (China Nanjing)
  • Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (Thailand)
  • Christiaan Sterken (Belgium)

Friday 9 August 2024

Session 1: 10:30–12:00 [Chair: Richard de Grijs]

Theme: Commissions’ Highlights and Key Achievements I

10:30–10:40    Urban Eriksson (Sweden): 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: Motivating school students towards astronomy through competitions [Commission C1] [invited]

11:20–11:40    Marieke Baan (Netherlands): 13 CAP Conferences strong – C2 updates from the largest international conference for astronomy communication [Commission C2] [invited]

11:40–12:00    Miracle Chibuzor Marcel (Nigeria): Modern Astronomy Education and Outreach Endeavors in Africa [contributed]

Session 2: 13:30–15:00 [Chair: Edward Gomez]

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]

14:30–14:45    Yasmin Catricheo (USA): Cosmovisions of the Pacific: Advancing Indigenous–non-Indigenous Collaboration with Integrity [contributed]

14:45–15:00    Johanna Casado (Argentina; Division C PhD Prize Winner 2023): Research on access, use and effective exploration of astronomical observational and bibliographic data from sonification [invited]

Monday 12 August 2024

Session 3: 10:30–12:00 [Chair: Mirjana Pović]

Theme: Celebrating African astronomy education, outreach and heritage I

10:30–10:50    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]

10:50–11:10    Carla (Sharpe) Mitchell (South Africa): The SKA’s development and its impact on Southern Africa [invited]

11:10–11:25    Christiaan Sterken (Belgium): The cultural heritage of the African Arc of the 30th  Meridian [invited]

11:25–11:45    Prudence Ayivi (Benin): Chasing the Stars Naked Eye: The Benin Tofin fishermen challenging modern telescopes in daily navigation [contributed]

11:45–12:00    Tumo Fortunate Kedumele (Botswana): Cultural Astronomy for Sustainable Development: A study on Indigenous San Communities in Botswana and Namibia [contributed]

Session 4: 13:30–15:00 [Chair: Susana Deustua]

Theme: Celebrating African astronomy education, outreach and heritage II

13:30–14:00  Naomi Asabre Frimpong (Ghana): The Role of the African Astronomical Society in Shaping Astronomy in Africa [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    Nikhita Madhanpall (South Africa): Hack4dev Data Science Hackathons [contributed]

Session 5: 15:30–17:00 [Chair: Steven Gullberg]

Theme: Astronomy in conflict zones

15:30–15:50    Thilina Heenatigala (Japan/Sri Lanka): Perspectives on Decolonising Astronomy: Towards An Inclusive Environment [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   Tamador Khalil (South Africa): Astronomy and the Ongoing Conflict in Sudan [Invited]

16:30–17:00    Panel discussion:

  • Mirjana Pović (Ethiopia/Spain/Uganda): Rethinking astronomy in conflict contexts and war anxiety [7 min.]
  • Alejandro Lopez (Argentina): Astronomy as a conflict zone [7 min.]
  • Open discussion, including audience Q&A. Panel members: Mirjana Pović (chair), Thilina Heenatigala, Francesca Fragkoudi, Hassan Abdalla, and Alejandro Lopez.

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