iau2009 — Press Release

Voting session at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly 2018
4 December 2020
XXXI General Assembly Postponed to August 2022
Elections for the next three years will take place in 2021 as virtual meetings

The IAU Officers, together with the Local Organising Committee (LOC), have decided to postpone the XXXI General Assembly to August 2022. The meeting, which was originally scheduled for 16–27 August 2021, will take place in Busan, South Korea. Exact dates and detailed decisions about the programme of the meeting are yet to be finalised.

While there has been much promising news regarding effective COVID-19 vaccines, a great deal of uncertainty remains around how the situation will evolve over the next year. In particular, the safety of events as large as the IAU General Assembly is still unclear, as are the travel restrictions that will be in place in August next year.

In light of the tremendous amount of work that goes into arranging a General Assembly, the decision on whether to go ahead with the event next year or to postpone it to 2022 had to be made with plenty of notice. Since vaccination programmes will take time to be implemented on a global scale, a meeting in August 2021, less than a year from now, would likely still be subject to some disruption caused by the pandemic. For these reasons, the IAU Officers and the LOC in South Korea came to the decision that the meeting should be postponed.

The meeting is now scheduled to take place in August 2022, although exact dates are yet to be confirmed. The IAU is hopeful that immunisation programmes will have allowed a return to normality by then. The triennial Business Meetings, including the elections for the next three years as set out in the IAU Bye-Laws, will take place in August 2021 as virtual meetings. Decisions are in progress regarding the General Assembly scientific programme, including Symposia and Focus Meetings, that had been planned for the meeting in 2021. The IAU will publish these decisions as soon as they have been finalised by the IAU Executive Committee.

The IAU would like to thank colleagues in the LOC in South Korea, who, in addition to the difficult task of organising a General Assembly, have dealt admirably with all the unexpected disruptions arising from the pandemic. We appreciate all their efforts and look forward to attending a fruitful meeting in 2022.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 12 000 active 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.



Maria Teresa Lago
General Secretary
Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58
Email: IAU_GS_2018@iap.fr

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Tel: +49 173 38 72 621
Email: lars@eso.org


Voting session at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly 2018