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"Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2018" Goes to Japan

The brand-new Fukuoka City Science Museum on Japan's Kyushu Island has been chosen to host the International Astronomical Union (IAU) conference "Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2018" (CAP 2018).

The CAP Conferences Working Group of IAU Commission C2 issued an international call for proposals to host CAP 2018 in August 2016. Five countries submitted full proposals by the October deadline: Armenia, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States of America. All five proposals were very strong, but the one from Japan stood out from the rest and was selected as winner of the call.

Local organisation of CAP 2018, to be held March 24-28, will be led by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and Fukuoka City, supported by a very strong national and local team of astronomy communicators, city officials and other partners.

Fukuoka City Science Museum will open in October 2017 to bring science to all citizens of, and visitors to, the city. It aims to make science accessible to the public and to provide an environment where children can express their creativity and receive support to follow their dreams for the future.

CAP 2018 will be the eighth conference in the series. Since 2003, CAP conferences have facilitated the exchange of ideas and best practices in astronomy and space communication and informal education. The conference helps strengthen the local community of professionals by connecting them to the global network of astronomy communicators and giving them access to the latest trends, lessons learnt from other parts of the globe and ongoing projects they can tap into.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Paris, France. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its individual members - structured into Divisions, Commissions, and Working Groups - are professional astronomers from all over the world who are active in professional research and education in astronomy. The IAU has more than 10,000 members in 98 countries worldwide. The IAU is responsible for naming stars, planets, asteroids and other celestial bodies and collaborates with other scientific organisations all over the world.

Fukuoka City Science Museum - Image of the Exterior

Links

Contacts

Oana Sandu
SOC co-chair of CAP 2018
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65
Email: osandu@partner.eso.org

Sze-leung Cheung
SOC co-chair of CAP 2018
IAU International Outreach Office
Tel: +81 422 34 3896
Cell: +81 80 9274 2454
Email: cheungszeleung@iau.org

Open Call for Hosting the Next Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference

The next Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) Conference is scheduled for March – June 2018. The location and dates of the week-long conference will be established following an open call for proposals, which is officially launched today. The deadline for applications is 20 August 2016.

The CAP Conference series are organised by Commission C2 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the goal of facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices in the field of astronomy and space communication, as well as informal education.

CAP is an excellent opportunity to stimulate local astronomy communication. The conference helps strengthen the local community of professionals by connecting them to the global network of astronomy communicators and giving them access to the latest trends, lessons learnt from other parts of the globe and ongoing projects they could tap into.

Institutions interested in uplifting astronomy communication in their region by hosting CAP2018 should submit an application via an email to osandu@partner.eso.org with the subject CAP2018 consisting of:

  • A letter of intent (written proof of support from a solid Local Organising Committee is a plus);
  • A preliminary budget (including estimates for the conference fee, hotel prices);
  • A description of the conference venue (examples of previous successful events at the venue are a plus);
  • The suggested dates;
  • A timeline for organising the event.

The Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conferences Working Group of the IAU Commission C2 will evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

  • The average travel cost to reach the location from different regions;
  • The average costs in the respective country or geographical area (accommodation, local transport etc.);
  • The facilities offered by the venue;
  • Timing and how it fits within the March – June 2018 interval;
  • The safety and security of the region for participants;
  • Local activities;
  • The impact that it can bring to the region.

The CAP Conferences Working Group is interested in supporting astronomy communication in as many areas of the globe as possible. Therefore, preference will be given to regions where the CAP Conference has never been organised before [1]. However, this will not be the only deciding factor.

Successful applicants will be notified by end of August and a second, more detailed proposal will be requested from the finalists. This proposal might include proof of partnerships initiated, proof of local support from authorities etc. The deadline for the second proposal is planned for October 2016 with final decision to be taken in November 2016 and results communicated by December 2016.

For further details, do not hesitate to contact the Working Group Chairs.

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. 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.

Links

Notes

[1] CAP Conference has been organised in the following places: Washington DC (USA), Munich (Germany), Athens (Greece), Cape Town (South Africa), Beijing (China), Warsaw (Poland), Medellin (Colombia)

Contact details

Oana Sandu
ESO Community Coordinator & Strategy Officer / CAP Conferences Working Group co-chair

Tel: +49 89 320 069 65
Email: osandu@partner.eso.org

Sze-leung Cheung
IAU International Outreach Coordinator / CAP Conferences Working Group co-chair
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 422 34 3896
Cell: +81 80 9274 2454
Email: cheungszeleung@iau.org