IAU General Assembly 2024 Sets New Benchmark with Over 3000 Abstract Submissions

IAU General Assembly 2024 Sets New Benchmark with Over 3000 Abstract Submissions

The Organising Committee of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly in 2024 is excited to announce that over 3000 abstracts were submitted for the first such event on African soil. This milestone not only highlights the astronomical community’s eagerness to share their science with the world but also sets the stage for what promises to be a historic event in many respects.

Hosted by the National Research Foundation and supported by the Department of Science and Innovation and the African Astronomical Society, the IAU General Assembly is set to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, and online, from August 6 to 15, 2024. It marks a groundbreaking moment in the IAU’s over 100-year history. Not only will it be the first in Africa, but it will also be the first time that the event will adopt an open-access format, making it accessible to anyone anywhere in the world who has access to the internet. The organisers believe that every scientist presenting their work should be able to invite their family and friends to watch them online.

The IAU General Assembly 2024 is committed to sustainability and reducing environmental impact, choosing the Cape Town International Convention Centre for its dedication to sustainability practices, promoting virtual participation to lower travel-related greenhouse gas emissions, and encouraging attendees to engage in impactful activities that benefit society and the environment.

The IAU General Assembly 2024 has received contributions from over 150 countries, showcasing the event’s global appeal and the international spirit of the astronomical research community. Astronomers, communicators, and students from Chile to Japan and Finland to Zambia are enthusiastic to share their research. This diverse geographical representation ensures a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives, enhancing the assembly’s global scientific impact.

The IAU General Assembly 2024 is proud to host a dynamic mix of participants. Early-career researchers and students form a significant portion (nearly 50%) of the submissions, indicating the vibrant future that lies ahead for astronomy. The diversity in career stages among participants promises a fertile ground for mentorship, collaboration, and innovation.

The abstracts cover a wide array of topics, with a notable emphasis on surveys and galactic astronomy as well as instruments such as the MeerKAT Radio Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. The integration of Working Group Meetings and IAU Offices Institutional Meetings emphasises collaborative efforts in global coordination, inclusivity, and sustainability within astronomy. Key focus areas include Global Coordination, Junior Members, Women in Astronomy, Equity and Inclusion, Professional-Amateur Relations, and Dark Sky Protection, alongside IAU Offices like Astronomy for Development (OAD), Astronomy Outreach (OAO), Young Astronomers (OYA), Astronomy Education (OAE), and the Centre for Dark and Quiet Sky Protection (CPS). These gatherings reflect the community’s commitment to advancing research, fostering collaboration, and addressing contemporary challenges in astronomy.

As the preparations now transition to abstract reviews, grant allocations, and final logistics, the organisers are committed to providing an enriching experience for all in-person or online attendees. The IAU General Assembly 2024 is set to be a landmark event, bringing together the world’s astronomical community to share, learn, and contribute to the advancement of our understanding of the cosmos.

We thank our global community for its overwhelming support and contributions towards making the IAU General Assembly 2024 a success.

For more information, visit astronomy2024.org.


Kevin Govender

IAU GA 2024 National Organising Committee Chair

Email: info@astronomy2024.org / kg@astro4dev.org

Daniel Cunnama

IAU GA 2024 National Organising Committee Communications

Email: info@astronomy2024.org / d.cunnama@saao.nrf.ac.za