Inspiring Stars is an IAU100 Global Project designed to highlight, support, and promote inclusive initiatives to encourage equality of participation in research, outreach and at a professional aspect in the field of astronomy. On 19 October, the project was presented in Santiago, Chile highlighting the Chilean community’s many efforts on inclusive astronomy through the project “Astronomy for All”, a national cooperation of astronomical institutions helping to bring astronomy to everyone in an accessible way.
The one-day programme featured a panel eliciting a dialogue on “The advantages of diversity: equitable and equal participation in science", where panellists including Dr Wanda Diaz-Merced (IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, Inspiring Stars) discussed the importance of making the study and research of science more accessible for the whole community and, together with Chilean specialists in different areas, debated the current state of inclusion in science in Chile and charted the paths to follow.
Additionally, the participants composed by educators, scientists and the general public engaged in the exploration of various resources for multisensorial exploration in astronomy from around the world. The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) was present, with tactile models of the solar system, the Moon and the stars, along with the project “Dedoscope: Discovering the Universe”, dedicated to developing astronomical experiences for people with visual impairments.
This event was organized by the Núcleo de Astronomía de la Universidad Diego Portales, Red de Investigadoras, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Sociedad Chilena de Astronomía (SOCHIAS) and is part of the various international programs within the framework of IAU inclusive world exhibition project — Inspiring Stars.
The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 13 500 professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. 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.
The UDP Astronomy Nucleus is a research group located at Universidad Diego Portales. Since 2016, the outreach program, AstroUDP, has been developing accessible astronomical experiences for blind and visually impaired (BVI) people, quickly realizing the high impact of a well prepared short story, along with low-cost tactile material, can have on both BVI and sighted people. Since then, the purpose of the project has been to spread the idea that this type of non-visual experience is actually possible, and that it gives a deeper understanding than visual learning alone.
Maria Rosaria D’Antonio
Head of IAU Administration
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621