Letters of Intent received in 2017

LoI 2019-2000
Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion -- a roadmap to action within the framework of IAU centennial anniversary

Date: 12 November 2019 to 15 November 2019
Location: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Mitaka Campus, Tokyo, Japan
Contact: Amelia Ortiz-Gil (amelia.ortiz@uv.es)
Coordinating division: Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
Co-Chairs of SOC: Beatriz Garcia (ITeDAM (CNEA-CONICET-UNSAM))
Wanda Diaz Merced (IAU Office of Astronomy for Development)
Amelia Gil-Ortiz (Observatorio Astronómico - Universidad de Valencia)
Tomita Akihiko (Wakayama University, Faculty of Education)
Watanabe Junichi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ))
Co-Chairs of LOC: Kumiko Usuda-Sato (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ))
Shin Mineshege (Kyoto University)
Hidehiko Agata (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ))
Lina Canas (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ))

 

Topics

1) Identify and Eliminate Barriers to Access: fostering a climate of inclusivity;
2) Best Practices: Learning from Successful Initiatives and Establishing a Framework to Address Equality in Astronomy Organizations;
3) IAU100: Global Perspectives on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Astronomy;
4) Astronomy for society -- Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Empathy in Communicating Astronomy;
5) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Perspectives on Gender Equity and Pluralism within Astronomy;
6) New Technologies for Accessibility: diversity and disability;
7) Diversity in Research: ethnicity and culture in research teams.

 

Rationale

In 2019, IAU members and the global astronomy community will gather to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the IAU -- a unique time to look into the past, understand the present and implement sustainable actions for the future. It is also a time where the new IAU strategic plan will pave the path for the next decade and the focus on promoting inclusiveness and gender balance in astronomy - research and outreach alike, making astronomy truly accessible to all. Amidst what we believe to be the perfect setting, we propose the first IAU Symposium on "Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion -- a roadmap to action within the framework of IAU centennial anniversary".

This IAU Symposium intends to be a unique meeting. For its importance -- transversal to all IAU Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups, will bring together the IAU community and participants from other fields of expertise (e.g. social sciences), to lay the ground for future IAU recommendations on Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policies.

In Japan, the policies for diversifying teams -- internationalisation policies and gender balanced work life policies, have steadily grown since the 1980s. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) efforts in promoting a gender balanced and diverse workplace have increased in recent years, yet facing many challenges. Similar situations take place around the world, with a lot of work still needed to be accomplished. For 2019, NAOJ intends to be an agent of change hand-in-hand with the IAU.

1) Identify and Eliminate Barriers to Access: fostering a climate of inclusivity
The Research and Application work here presented will focus on promoting diversity by improving access: Web Accessibility, Astrophysics Data Systems, Data Accessibility for Blind and Visually Impaired Astronomers and Citizen Scientists and the concrete measures for a change towards equality and diversity within academia.

2) Best Practices: Learning from Successful Initiatives and Establishing a Framework to Address Equality in Astronomy Organizations
Many institutions are required to implement practices that ensure to eliminate discrimination and to meet expectations of equality in the workplace and how to make it sustainable. In this topic, we discuss best practices and reveal the latest Research and Application data, moving beyond the awareness framework and to new approaches to changing the mindsets and diminishing the anxieties -- sustainable inclusion and diversity policies (e.g. immersion in the work field, productivity models, access to power among others, etc.)

3) IAU100: Global Perspectives on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Astronomy
With the 100 years celebrations and the next strategic plan drafted in 2018, inclusion and diversity are key areas to address. In this sessions different national IAU members and IAU scientific bodies reflect and share their best practices in the field and begin to draft an IAU-driven roadmap of action of recommendations in the area.

4) Astronomy for society -- Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Empathy in Communicating Astronomy
This topic intends to reveal best practices within EPO groups, and departments while engaging with diverse groups under represented for their age, ethnicity, gender, culture, ability or disability, religion, race, sexuality or intersectionality of these factors.

5) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Perspectives on Gender Equity and Pluralism within Astronomy
Through the lens of Astronomy for Development, here we will address different connections related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not only focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG5) but explore the full impact gender can have on the success of implementation of all 17 SDGs.

6) New Technologies for Accessibility: diversity and disability
Research and Application session dedicated on how new technologies can help transform the work environment for astronomers with disabilities.

7) Diversity in Research: ethnicity and culture in research teams
Here we address the importance of having diverse academic and research institutes environments. How equality and diversity are perceived from a management point of view and directly linked to innovation and competitiveness in research.

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) - Mitaka Campus, Tokyo, Japan, is the chosen facility to host to this IAU Symposium. NAOJ Accessibility and Inclusion research group has hosted three symposiums on equity and inclusion since 2010, with each conference attended by over 120 participants, including people with disabilities. In 2018, IAU's C2 Communicating Astronomy with the Public in Japan will bring international experts in the field for a dedicated session on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Empathy in Communicating Astronomy. Since 2016, as part of the CC1 activities and in particular of the objectives of the WG3: Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion, IAU announced the first workshop on "Astronomy Beyond the Common Senses for Accessibility and Inclusion", an interdisciplinary meeting with participation from astronomers, educators and disability specialists, as part of the LARIM 2016. Both NAOJ and C1 collaborated extensively in the past, and this 2019 IAU Symposium will represent a natural extension of the work being carried since 2010, obtaining now the official support of the IAU.