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IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach is Open

24 September 2012

Last week, the IAU’s Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) began its operations under the leadership of the organisation’s new International Outreach Coordinator, Sarah Reed. The office is hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, based in its headquarters in Mitaka, Tokyo.

Sarah was formerly Executive Director of the World Space Week Association and a science writer and editor for several organisations, including BBC Sky at Night magazine, the European Southern Observatory, EU Universe Awareness and AAAS Science. In her new role, she is tasked with coordinating the global astronomy outreach activities of the IAU in order to sustain the momentum of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA 2009). Sarah has also been appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of the IAU’s peer-reviewed journal, Communicating Astronomy with the Public.

One of the first areas where I will be focussing my efforts for OAO is to build on the database of amateur astronomy associations that was started during IYA2009 and use it to create a web community,” says Sarah. “This will be much more than a list: it will be a global network to bring established and newly formed associations together, featuring user-generated content. It will provide an excellent channel for disseminating news to the amateur astronomy community and promote the sharing of best practices and resources amongst the associations around the world.

Clearly, there will be synergy between OAO and the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), based in Cape Town, South Africa. Indeed, Sarah is also a member of the OAD’s Task Force 3, Astronomy for the Public.

For more information, please email sarah.reed@nao.ac.jp

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