IAU OAD Newsletter Jul-Sep 2017
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OAD 2017 Call for Proposals
The 2017 OAD call for proposals is a two stage process. During Stage 1, the Task Forces selected proposals, with input from Regional Offices. The OAD team, Regional offices (and other external collaborators) worked with these selected teams during Stage 2 to improve the proposals. The final, revised proposals were submitted to the OAD by September 15, 2017 and are currently being reviewed by the Task Forces. 
Read more on the OAD website
Space Awareness Workshop
An international workshop on Space Education and Outreach was organized by the OAD, EU Space Awareness project, Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) and Ethiopian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development. The event, officially launched by the Ethiopian State Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Afework Kassu, was attended by African Union representative, astronomers, space experts, teachers, and students.
Read more on the OAD website

Farewell to Eli Grant
The OAD bid farewell to Dr Eli Grant, who was a staff member since February 2015. Eli brought an interdisciplinary background in statistics, behavioural sciences and social policy. She supported project management, design, implementation and evaluation processes at the OAD. She has over ten years of experience working in government, academia and the non-profit sector on issues concerning health, international development, criminal justice, education and gender equality. We will miss Eli but we wish her the very best in her future endeavours
Data and Development
OAD is engaging with development economists from RESEP (Research on Socio-Economic Policy) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Through a series of talks and discussions, OAD and RESEP are exploring common ground between astronomy and economics, such as skills sharing. Astronomers, for example, use image classification techniques that could be applied by economists using satellite data to study socio-economic conditions.
Read more on the OAD website


20 projects funded by the OAD are underway in 2017 - 9 projects in TF1 (Universities & Research), 6 projects in TF2 (Children & Schools), 5 projects in TF3 (Public). Projects are now halfway through their implementation phase. Below are few of the pictures sent in by the projects. For more updates, please visit the OAD website


  • Andean ROAD organized a meeting called "Aula Bajo las Estrellas", an initiative to gather primary and secondary education instructors that use astronomy in their classroom.
  • Arab ROAD and LOAD conducted a number of Astronomy lectures organized by members of Jordanian Astronomical Society (JAS) & Arab Union of Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS)
  • East African ROAD and ESSTI in collaboration with US Embassy in Addis Ababa organized a public lecture by former US Astronaut Leland Melvin on 07 August, attended by more than 600 people
  • East Asian ROAD and Chinese Language Center was involved in Meteorites China – a conference, workshop, and exhibition on the scientific and cultural significance of meteorites from 15-17 September 2017 at Duke Kunshan University.
  • Portuguese Language Office is working on the development of a research collaboration between Brazil, Cape Verde, Portugal, Mozambique and other islands across the world
  • NARIT, host of the South East Asian ROAD, organized Optical Design Summer School and the ITCA Colloquium on Astronomy for STEM Education
  • South West and Central Asian ROAD is co-organizing the UNESCO regional conference on “Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East” from 13-17 Nov 2017 in Yerevan, Armenia
  • Southern African ROAD is organizing an AstroLab worshop from 6-11 November 2017 at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It will be followed by GTTP (Galileo Teacher Training Program) training from 13-17 November 2017.
  • West African ROAD coorganized the West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) from 31 July – 06 August 2017 in Accra, Ghana
More details on the OAD website


  • Prof Cherryl Walker and Dr Davide Chinigo from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University visited the OAD to discuss collaborations. Prof Walker is the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in The Sociology of Land, Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Tawanda Chingozha joined the OAD in August on a part time basis, as an OAD Fellow. He is a Development Economics PhD Student in RESEP (Research on Socio-Economic Policy) group at Stellenbosch University. This is part of an effort to strengthen links with Development Economists.
  • Diaz-Merced coordinated an eclipse experience for the kids at Athlone School for the Blind during the August total solar eclipse in the US. The eclipse was observed using alternative methods of perception
  • Paul Anthony Wilson, OAD Fellow, designed the architecture for Astronomy Data Science Toolkit, a project aiming to build a bridge between astronomy and data science
  • McBride won a scholarship to attend the AAAS-TWAS course on Science Diplomacy, from 21-25 August 2017 in Trieste, Italy
  • Diaz-Merced travelled to Chile (hosted by the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile) to attend a workshop on sonification. During that trip, she also visited schools and gave a public talk
  • Govender attended a workshop on Astronomy Education in Thailand and delivered a talk on the work of the OAD and its regions. This was part of the inauguration of the UNESCO International Centre for Training in Astronomy, which is hosted at NARIT, home of the South East Asian Regional OAD
  • Venugopal represented the OAD at the SKA Ministerial Meeting in Ghana as well as the launch of the new Ghana radio telescope and Radio Observatory
  • Govender, McBride and Venugopal attended the lecture "Science, SKA and Big Data: Can Africa Lead?" by Dr. Bernie Fanaroff at Stellenbosch university
  • Annika Mueller, self-funded intern from Germany, volunteered as a graphic designer at the OAD during August. She continues to contribute on a voluntary basis from Germany


International Observe the Moon Night
28 October 2017
All around the world

Regional AstroLab Workshop
6-11 November 2017
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

World Science Forum 2017
7-11 November 2017

Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East
13-17 November 2017
Yerevan, Armenia

.Astronomy (Dot Astronomy) 9
14-17 November 2017
Cape Town, South Africa

Second Arab Winter School for Astrophysics (AWSA-II)
19-25 November 2017
Ifrane, Morocco

Science Forum South Africa (SFSA 2017)
7-8 December 2017
Pretoria, South Africa

Communicating Astronomy with the Public - CAP2018
24–28 March 2018
Fukuoka, Japan
Suggestions or comments on the OAD newsletter? Please send us an email and let us know!
Our mailing address is:
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
P.O. Box 9, Observatory, South Africa, 7935
Cape Town, Western Cape 7935
South Africa

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