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Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network blogs

Astronomy for a better world

31 Jan 2014, 17:19 UTC
Astronomy for a better world
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Early this week I visited the IAU's office of astronomy for development (OAD) in Cape Town, South Africa. In early 2011 I was very flattered to be asked to chair a task force, along with Pedro Russo from Universe Awareness, for children and schools after attending a workshop in Cape Town. There are 2 other task forces, along with ours, which tackle issues of public engagement and universities and research.The aims of OAD are to promote the use of astronomy as a tool or route for development. The work of the OAD is not just applicable in the developing world but anywhere that development is needed. Astronomy is a perfect subject to capture people's imagination and then use to nurture critical thinking and scientific understanding.The recent meeting in Cape Town was the first time all the task force chairs met in person with IAU representatives to talk about the past 2 years of OAD activities and what the future direction of the task forces should be. To produce a measurable change in the development of just one country is an enormous task, let alone working out a strategy for the whole World. The small team at the OAD, lead by ...

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