iau2207 — Press Release

BEXCO in Busan, South Korea
11 July 2022
Media Invitation to the XXXI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union
The two-week-long meeting will include numerous media events and an exciting public outreach programme

In August this year more than 1400 astronomers from more than 80 countries will head to Busan, South Korea, for the XXXI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The meeting will take place from 2 to 11 August 2022 in a hybrid format, with hundreds more expected to join this assembly online. Alongside thousands of scientific presentations, there will also be numerous policy discussions and exciting media events. The IAU offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public information officers.

The IAU General Assembly is usually held every three years, but the XXXI General Assembly was postponed from 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each meeting invites astronomers from around the world to come together to advance the astronomical sciences through international collaboration. About 1700 academic presentations are scheduled for a total of 205 sessions at this IAU General Assembly. It is the first time that the IAU General Assembly will be held in Korea. Participants in the General Assembly in Busan will address key topics in contemporary astronomy and assess the latest scientific progress in a number of specialised areas. 

Under the theme Astronomy for All, the General Assembly will include seven symposia and 10 multi-session focus meetings, as well as further dedicated meetings organised by the IAU Divisions, Offices, Commissions and Working Groups. There will also be poster sessions and prize lectures given by recipients of prestigious awards in astronomy. A detailed programme is available online.

The XXXI General Assembly will take place in the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO), hosted by the Korean Astronomical Society (KAS) and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).

Journalists and public information officers are invited to sign up for the IAU General Assembly via the pre-registration form. A press office will be in operation on all weekdays in room CH 203.

The public outreach programme will feature numerous public lectures, including one on Imaging a Supermassive Black Hole given by Sheperd Doeleman, founding director of the Event Horizon Telescope. Another public lecture, on The State of the Universe, will be given by Brian Schmidt, who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. 

Besides the events at BEXCO, several additional public lectures are planned during the assembly at Busan National Science Museum to promote communication between astronomers and the local community. There will also be a star party in BEXCO hosted by the Korean Amateur Astronomical Society (KAAS, Busan branch), several tours of the local area, lectures organised by the Federation of Busan Science and Technology (FOBST), and a workshop for science educators organised by the Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE).

South Korea’s long tradition in astronomy dates back to ancient times, with star-like marks carved in prehistoric structures, and over 20 000 records of astronomical observations having been passed down since the 1st century BCE. Cheomseongdae Observatory, built in 663 CE, is one of the oldest observatories in the world. 

Although political turmoil hindered astronomy in South Korea at the start of the 20th century, it is now thriving again, and the country contributes to many global research efforts in the field. In 2015 KASI installed the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet), which offers 24-hour continuous monitoring of astronomical objects in the southern hemisphere, with a particular interest in Earth-like habitable planets. KASI also contributes to several international collaborations, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the International Gemini Observatory, and the Giant Magellan Telescope currently under construction in Chile.


Name: XXXI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union

Date: 2–11 August 2022

Venue address:
Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO)
55 APEC-ro, Haeundae-gu
Busan, South Korea

Press office: CH 203

Purpose: In August 2022 astronomers from all around the globe will gather for two weeks for the IAU General Assembly in Busan, to discuss and evaluate their most recent discoveries and observations, to make decisions on fundamental issues facing astronomy, and to organise international cooperation. Over the course of the General Assembly, participants will also have an opportunity to experience a wide range of cultural activities in South Korea.

Participants: The IAU XXXI General Assembly is expected to bring more than 1700 astronomers from around the world to Busan, both in person and remotely, to present and discuss the latest scientific breakthroughs and discoveries in the rapidly evolving scientific field of astronomy.

National hosts: The Korean Astronomical Society (KAS) and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI)

Travel and lodging information: See the Transportation web page.

Press registration: Please complete the pre-registration form. Once you have been approved by the IAU Press Office, you will receive the official registration form to complete.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 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.



Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Tel: +1 520 461 0433
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621
Email: lars.christensen@noirlab.edu

Seo-gu Lee
Korean Media Contact
Tel: 82-10-2281-4693
Email: press@iauga2022.org

Aeree Chung
Email: press@iauga2022.org

Laura Hiscott
IAU Deputy Press Officer
Email: laurahiscott@hotmail.co.uk


BEXCO in Busan, South Korea
Gwangandaegyo Bridge in Busan, South Korea