iau2305 — Press Release

Aerial View of Cape Town
31 October 2023
Registrations Open for XXXII IAU General Assembly
IAU’s flagship event to take place in Africa for the first time

The National Organising Committee (NOC) of the XXXII IAU General Assembly 2024 (IAU GA 2024) has announced that registration for the IAU GA 2024 is now open. The IAU GA 2024 will be held in August 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa, with three core values defining its ethos: accessibility, impact, and environmental sustainability.

The official webpage for registration for the XXXII IAU General Assembly (IAU GA 2024) has opened today, 31 October 2023. The IAU GA 2024 will be held on 6–15 August 2024 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, marking the first time since the Union was established over a century ago that its triennial assembly will take place in Africa.

Following the example of recent General Assemblies, this meeting will have a hybrid format, meaning that participants can register to attend either in person or virtually. Additionally, to foster accessibility, the GA will be open-access for the first time, offering individuals around the world the opportunity to remotely access live talks from researchers working at the forefront of astronomy. Only paying participants will be able to present talks, ask questions in real time, and interact with other speakers and attendees, but their registration fees will contribute to making this open-access event possible, enabling anyone to listen free of charge.

While the hybrid and open-access format reflect the important principles of inclusion and diversity, attending in person will be a valuable opportunity for participants, particularly early-career astronomers, to forge collaborations and advance their careers. Bringing together thousands of astronomers at the first IAU GA in Africa, the meeting will be a stimulating and inspiring event for the global community.

The IAU will offer IAU grants to participants who may not have sufficient travel funds. The African Astronomical Society (AfAS), with the support of the South African Department of Science and Technology and other sponsors, will also offer grants to participants who may not have funding. For in-person recipients, some volunteer services may be requested by the IAU GA 2024 National Organising Committee. Applicants must register for IAU GA 2024 and fill out the relevant grant application form by 1 March 2024. Both IAU and AfAS grant applications open on 30 November 2023. 

Travel grants are also provided by the US National Science Foundations and administered by the American Astronomical Society for airline travel to international science meetings by individuals at US institutions.

Journalists and public information officers are invited to sign up for the GA via the pre-registration form. The GA Press Office will be in operation on all weekdays.

Abstract submission opens on 30 November 2023 for both in-person and virtual participants and closes on 1 March 2024 (together with the early-bird registration).

The NOC have set out three core values to define the ethos of the event: accessibility, impact, and environmental sustainability. Firstly, the meeting will be made accessible not only through the hybrid and open-access format, but also through a family-friendly conference environment to support participants with familial responsibilities. Alongside scientific impact, societal impact will be promoted through collaborations with local businesses and artists, and opportunities to engage with educational initiatives and outreach activities. Finally, innovative measures are being considered to improve the meeting’s environmental sustainability, and to spark discussions that inspire action towards building climate-resilient societies.

The scientific conference programme will address every aspect of astronomy, including the leading role that Africa and its people are playing in this collective human endeavour, in which all are invited to partake.

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.


Kevin Govender
IAU GA 2024 National Organising Committee Chair
Email: kg@astro4dev.org

Piero Benvenuti
IAU Interim General Secretary
Email: piero.benvenuti@cps.iau.org

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

Daniel Cunnama
IAU GA 2024 National Organising Committee Communications
Email: d.cunnama@saao.nrf.ac.za


Aerial View of Cape Town