ann22043 — Announcement

Milky Way over Mina de S. Domingos, Achada do Gamo, in Alentejo, Portugal
23 December 2022
IAU Partners With Leading Portuguese Astronomy Institute for Astronomy Communication

The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (IAU-OAO) is delighted to announce that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal (IA), for the betterment of science communication worldwide. This collaboration will benefit science communication and those working in it, by raising awareness of the importance of astronomy in education and, more broadly, our daily lives.

Based at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the IAU-OAO brings together communicators, educators, and amateur astronomers to communicate astronomy to the public and make it accessible to all.

The IA already leads and participates in multiple international projects in outreach and education. These include the Astronomy Literacy initiative, which led to the first systematic definition of literacy in this field: the multilingual booklet Big Ideas in Astronomy. This new memorandum strengthens the existing synergy between the IAU-OAO and the IA, seeking to expand the production of content and tools to communicate and teach astronomy.

“We recognise the IA as an important partner with whom we share similar goals to move astronomy forward as a science and to communicate it to the public for the benefit of society,” says Lina Canas, Director of IAU-OAO.

As part of this collaboration, the IA will be involved at the editorial level in the IAU’s international peer-reviewed journal Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAPjournal).

“With its vast experience of science communication in astronomy, informed by a strong international component in research, we believe the IA will make a decisive contribution to the professionalism behind the CAPjournal,” says Lina Canas.

“Bringing together the interests of the IAU-OAO and the IA has made this historic memorandum possible,” says Francisco Lobo, coordinator of the IA and professor in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. “We look forward to a very productive partnership, to the benefit of science and outreach, and the benefit of education and of human development.”

“Even though this is a science that studies the Universe beyond Earth, astronomy gives back to society all the benefits of its research, such as technological development and our understanding of the Universe and our place in it,” explains João Retrê, coordinator of the Science Communication Group at the IA (IA-GCC). “With it we gain humility and learn to value our planet, the only one we are perfectly adapted to. It is our mission and duty to strengthen the ties that serve to communicate this science and its importance in our lives better and more widely.”

The IAU looks forward to a fruitful partnership with the IA over the coming year.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.


Lina Canas
IAU OAO Director 
T. +81-(0)422-34-3966

Kelly Blumenthal
IAU OAO Deputy Director 
T. +81 80 8841 3569

João Retrê
IA-GCC Coordinator 
T. +351 91 977 96 16

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



Milky Way over Mina de S. Domingos, Achada do Gamo, in Alentejo, Portugal
Cover of CAPjournal Issue #31