ann12014 — Announcement

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) establishes three Task Forces

15 May 2012

Astronomy for Development: Establishment of Task Forces to drive forward its global activities


The International Astronomical Union (IAU), through its Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), has established the three Task Forces which will drive global activities using astronomy as a tool to stimulate development. These Task Forces are (i) Astronomy for Universities and Research, (ii) Astronomy for Children and Schools, and (iii) Astronomy for the Public.

This milestone forms part of the IAU Strategic Plan which aims to build on the momentum of the successful International Year of Astronomy 2009. The plan recognises and seeks to realise the impact that astronomy has on the development of a country and region because of its contribution to technology and skills; science and research; and culture and society. The OAD was set up to realise these global benefits and the Task Forces are a step towards this. The OAD will also be coordinating the establishment of regional nodes and language expertise centres across the world to ensure local input and wide inclusiveness into strategic planning and implementation.

The Task Forces are made of groups of experts in their field who give their time voluntarily to advise on and coordinate projects in the respective targeted areas of development. They are selected, as far as possible, on the basis of their skills, prior knowledge, experience, geographic locations and cultural diversity. After a lengthy nomination and selection process, approved by the Development Oversight Committee of the IAU, we are pleased to announce the names of the members of the three Task Forces. These individuals, together with the many passionate volunteers they will work with, will contribute to the vision of "Astronomy for a Better World!"

Task Force 1: Universities and Research

  1. Edward Guinan (Chair - USA)
  2. Katrien Kolenberg (Vice-Chair - USA/Belgium)
  3. Jean-Pierre de Greve (Belgium)
  4. Michele Gerbaldi (France)
  5. Roger Hajjar (Lebanon)
  6. Edward Jurua (Uganda)
  7. Richard de Grijs (China)
  8. Shengbang Qian (China)
  9. Hakim Malasan (Indonesia)
  10. Nicole van der Bliek (Chile/Netherlands)

Task Force 2: Children and Schools   

  1. Pedro Russo (Chair - Netherlands/Portugal)
  2. Edward Gomez (Vice-Chair - UK)
  3. Akihiko Tomita (Japan)
  4. Robert Hollow (Australia)
  5. Mary Kay Hemenway (USA)
  6. Ofodum Chukwujekwu Nworah (Nigeria)
  7. Cecilia Scorza (Germany/Venezuela)
  8. Rosa Maria Ros (Spain)
  9. Rosa Doran (Portugal)
  10. Linda Strubbe (Canada/USA)

Task Force 3: Public

  1. Ian Robson (Chair - UK)
  2. Carolina Odman (Vice-Chair - South Africa/EU)
  3. Thilina Heenatigala (Sri Lanka)
  4. Sarah Kendrew (Germany)
  5. German Puerta (Colombia)
  6. Kumiko S. Usuda (Japan/USA)

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