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IAU OAD Newsletter Aug-Oct 2015
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NEWS

Annual Call for Proposals
The OAD received 124 responses to the 4th annual call for proposals. Distribution of proposals by Task Force is as follows: TF1 = 28, TF2 = 66, TF3 = 30. The total funding requested this year is € 1,188,490 (TF1= €232,257, TF2 = €654,801, TF3 = €301,430). The proposals have been consolidated and distributed to the Task Forces for review and scoring.
OAD at the IAU General Assembly
A productive GA where the OAD conducted a day-and-a-half Focus Meeting on 'Astronomy for Development' and helped organize the ‘Young Astronomers Lunch’. Meetings were conducted with IAU Division C, the new IAU Executive Committee, regional coordinators, and the Steering Committee. There were also several engagements with the IAU Women in Astronomy Working Group.
 
New Regional Offices
Agreements for five new regional offices were signed at the IAU General Assembly in Hawaii. These are (1) South West Asian Regional Office, Armenia; (2) Andean Regional Office, hosted at three collaborating institutions across Chile and Colombia; (3) Arab Regional Office and Arabic Language Expertise Centre, Jordan; (4) West African Regional Office, Nigeria; (5) Portuguese Language Expertise Centre, Portugal
IAU GA Resolution on OAD
The resolution to continue the OAD until the 2021 General Assembly was ratified at the XXIX IAU General Assembly. This followed a public recognition of the OAD’s work during the General Assembly and a very positive external review of the OAD conducted earlier in 2015. 
NWO-OAD Visiting Expert Grant
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a grant under the NWO-OAD Visiting Experts Scheme. This grant will allow two Leiden scientists to travel to Colombia for the AstroTwinCoLo Twinning Programme. For two weeks, they will give lectures to advanced undergraduate students as well as public lectures.

PROJECT UPDATES

OAD One World Project
The OAD initiated a research project, together with Hosei University Graduate School of Science and Engineering and the SAAO’s SALT Collateral Benefits Division, to test whether exposure to a specific astronomy intervention affects intergroup biases and other-regarding preferences such as empathy and altruism in children. Kodai Fukushima, OAD visitor from Japan, is working on this project.
OAD Impact Cycle
The OAD believes that in order for astronomy-for-development activities to be effective, a scientific approach is needed. The OAD Impact Cycle aims to enhance the OAD's project design, selection and delivery to support continual improvement and potential expansion.
Read more at: http://www.astro4dev.org/funded-projects/impact-cycle/

REGIONAL OFFICES - HIGHLIGHTS

  • Andean ROAD organized the second workshop on "Astronomia en los Andes" in Bogota in July with astronomers from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile
  • East African ROAD has been invited as a discussant in a science and technology conference jointly organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology, African Union Commission, Ethiopian universities and others
  • Portuguese LOAD has enlarged the number of partners from Brazil and East Timor. In September, NUCLIO signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education in Portugal to further collaboration and mutual support for science education projects, including PLOAD
  • NARIT, the host of the South-East Asia ROAD, is becoming the host of International Training centre of astronomy endorsed by UNESCO.  Once endorsed, it will be able to impact astronomy-for-development on a larger scale, aiming at capacity building in astronomy and related sciences
  • South West Asia Regional Workshop and inauguration of the Regional Office was organized on Oct 12-13, 2015 in Byurakan with participation of IAU and regional representatives (Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Russia, and Turkey). The Armenian-Iranian Astronomical Workshop was held on Oct 13-16, 2015 with participation of 25 Armenians, 15 Iranians, and representatives from Georgia and Arab countries
  • West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) took place in Nigeria in July 2015

MEETINGS AND VISITORS

  • IAU President Norio Kaifu, and Assistant General Secretary Piero Benvenuti, visited the OAD in July during their negotiations with the NRF/DST on the renewal of the OAD agreement
  • Professor Bryan M. Gaensler, Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, visited the OAD to discuss various activities of both the Institute and the OAD and seek potential collaboration
  • The OAD hosted and presented their work to the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology as part of their visit to the SAAO
  • Bob Williams, former president of the IAU and one of the founders of the IAU Strategic Plan and OAD, visited the OAD during his trip to South Africa to review the NRF Astronomy Cluster
  • A delegation from the astronomy community in Mexico visited the OAD to learn about our activities and explore potential collaborations which will be included in a Mexico-South Africa collaboration document
  • OAD Director attended a regional meeting of Andean country representatives in Bogota
  • The final meeting of the IAU Extended Development Oversight Committee (EDOC) took place in July, prior to the IAU GA
  • OAD Project Officer conducted several meetings in the US to explore collaborations with researchers involved in impact evaluation in development fields at Harvard Centre for Astrophysics, MIT JPAL and Harvard Cognition Lab
  • OAD Visiting Fellow Silvia Verdolini attended the DST’s Astronomy Materials and Activities Workshop in Pretoria in September and October
  • The OAD was represented in the Global Hands on Universe and Galileo Teacher Training Programme international workshops in August
  • Kodai Fukushima from Hosei University in Japan is visiting the OAD to conduct the One World experiment in Cape Town

UPCOMING EVENTS

Astronomy and Space Science forum
Nov 27 2015, West African ROAD

ESA/GTTP teacher training 2015
23 and 27 Nov 2015, European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) Noordwijk, the Netherlands


Inauguration of the West African Regional Office
Nov 27 2015, Nigeria

7th SEAAN (Southeast Asia Astronomy Network) Meeting
29 Nov - 4 Dec 2015, Krabi, Thailand

1st Symposium on Space Educational Activities
9–12 Dec 2015, Padova, Italy
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IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
P.O. Box 9, Observatory, South Africa, 7935
Cape Town, Western Cape 7935
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