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Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network blogs

Astronomy for a better world!

19 Dec 2011, 14:00 UTC
Astronomy for a better world!
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Last week I visited the South Africa Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town which is home to the IAU's Office for Astronomy Development (OAD). This office has recently been established to deal with issues of science education and awareness in the developing world and how to get people from all nations involved in this effort. Using astronomy as a hook to inspire and excite people about science in general, no matter what their background or circumstances. This is something which is very close to the education and outreach mission statement of LCOGT, so we were interested to find out more.I was there for a workshop which was sharing the experiences from different programmes and projects (endorsed and run by organizations like IAU, Universe Awareness, Hands on Universe, International Planetarium Society, and LCOGT) which could be used to build on when mapping out how the OAD could tackle this enormous issue. The OAD will work through 3 task forces 1) children and schools 2) general public and outreach, 3) university level education. There will also be a number of self-funding "regional nodes" to coordinate the projects and volunteers, and be point of contacts for the OAD in developing nations.Unusually for an astronomy workshop ...

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