The Austrian city of Vienna will host the XXX General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) from 20–31 August this year. In addition to welcoming more than 3000 astronomers from over 88 countries, the conference will also offer several events for the local community, free and open to the public.
The 2018 General Assembly will take place from 20–31 August 2018 at the Austria Center Vienna in the central European city of Vienna, Austria. This conference, which takes place every three years, will welcome more than 3000 astronomers from over 88 countries around the globe. The assembly marks the first time the event will be held in Austria, and is organised jointly by the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Austrian Society for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
General Assembly participants will address key topics in contemporary astronomy and assess the latest scientific progress in a number of specialised areas. As a result of the event, the IAU expects an exciting exchange of scientific knowledge and international collaboration, resulting in important advancements for the astronomical community and beyond.
“The IAU is delighted to bring our triennial General Assembly to Austria, a place that is special in the astronomical community thanks to its remarkable tradition in Physics and in the Philosophy of Science. The work of Christian Doppler, Ernst Mach, Ludwig Boltzmann, Erwin Schrödinger and many others, together with the conceptual developments of the Vienna Circle, has substantially influenced the recent progress of astronomy and especially of cosmology, a discipline that more and more frequently knocks at the door of philosophy,” explains Piero Benvenuti, General Secretary of the International Astronomical Union. “Vienna is also a beautiful city, and we look forward to introducing thousands of astronomers to its magical atmosphere!”
The IAU is excited to be admitting ten new National Members at the XXX General Assembly, and a new category of individual membership — the Junior Member — will be proposed for approval during the conference.
With seven symposia extending over several days, 15 multi-session focus meetings, nine IAU Division meetings, dozens of IAU Commission meetings, and daily general poster sessions, the XXX General Assembly’s scientific programme will be the broadest in the union’s history. It is also expected to be one of the largest ever gatherings of professional astronomers.
The media is invited to the first press conference press briefing: General information about the Opening Ceremony, which will take place on Monday 20 August at 10:00 CEST.
The participants will include:
- IAU President Silvia Torres-Peimbert
- IAU General Secretary Piero Benvenuti
- IAU President-Elect Ewine van Dishoeck
In 2019, the IAU will see its 100th anniversary, a momentous occasion which will be celebrated during the XXX General Assembly with a symposium called Under One Sky. This year’s conference will also see the premiere of Inspiring Stars, an exhibition dedicated to addressing the concept of inclusion in astronomy for people with disabilities, at an outreach, didactic, and professional level. The aim of Inspiring Stars is to broaden horizons and enrich lives by learning from people with disabilities about different ways of perceiving the world around us.
In addition to welcoming more than 3000 astronomers from over 88 countries, the conference will also offer several events for the local community, free and open to the public. Highlights include:
Six stargazing evenings with talks about astronomy and astronomical research, organised by the Vienna Astronomy Association, taking place in front of the Museum of Natural History at 20:00 CEST on 18, 20, 22, 25, 27 and 29 August.
GTTP International Teacher Training Workshop:
Taking place a few days before this General Assembly at the Main Building of the University of Vienna (16–18 August), the workshop will focus on the following topics: Astronomy in Society, Spectroscopy, Infrared Astronomy, Digital Media, Current Research and Future Research Facilities.
Astronomy Youth Day:
Taking place on 31 August at the conference venue, workshops and lectures will be held in German on a variety of astronomical topics and about studying astronomy in Vienna. This is an opportunity for students aged 16–20 to learn about various aspects of modern astronomy and to meet students and scientists from different astronomical areas of expertise.
Exhibition and Talk on Light Pollution:
Taking place at the Museum of Natural History from 22 August at 16:30 CEST. The aim is to show how light pollution affects not only astronomical observations, but also society as a whole. The event will be introduced by two astronomers who will further explain the science of light pollution and suggest solutions to control it.
General Information on the IAU
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.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621
Department of Astrophysics — University of Vienna
Tel: +43 1 4277 538 00
Cell: +43 664 817 54 20