ann19071 — Announcement

Group photo from the 1st IAU–Shaw Workshop
20 December 2019
IAU Office of Astronomy for Education Agreement Signed during the 1st IAU–Shaw Workshop

With support generously provided by the Shaw Prize Foundation, the first of a series of annual workshops was held at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP) auditorium near the IAU Headquarters in Paris from 17 to 19 December 2019. Approximately 50 workshop participants actively discussed a variety of topics in astronomy education. 

During the workshop, the agreement to officially establish the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) was signed between the IAU and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. The OAE is located in Haus der Astronomie (HdA), an astronomy outreach centre based in Heidelberg, Germany. The OAE was established to promote astronomy in education and to achieve the education-related goals set out in the IAU Strategic Plan 2020–2030. HdA’s hosting of the OAE is made possible through the support of the German foundations Klaus Tschira Stiftung and Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung.

At the workshop, the new Director and Deputy Director of the OAE presented the plans for the new office, invited speakers discussed infrastructure needs for astronomy education and attendees vigorously discussed these plans as well as the general development of astronomy education research. 

Among the presenters were stakeholders such as runner-up OAE-proposers who outlined possible options for new OAE Nodes and Centres and how synergies could be grown. Other selected highlights were speakers from IAU’s Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage, from the IAU’s Office of Outreach (OAO), Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and several IAU National Outreach Committee members. 

More information

The International Astronomical Union

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 astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, 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.

Haus der Astronomie (HdA)

Founded as a centre for astronomy education and outreach, the mission of Haus der Astronomie is to demonstrate to the public in general, and to young people in particular, the fascination of astronomy, and to further the communication between astronomers and their colleagues in other scientific disciplines. HdA was founded by the Max Planck Society and the Klaus Tschira Foundation in 2008. Additional partners are the City of Heidelberg and Heidelberg University. HdA is operated by the Max Planck Society, which has delegated that task to the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA).



Peggy Ng
Operations Manager
The Shaw Prize Secretariat

Maria Teresa Lago 
General Secretary 
Paris, France 
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

About the Announcement



Group photo from the 1st IAU–Shaw Workshop