iau2202 — Press Release

Participants of the Astronomy Teacher Training Program in Palestine
11 February 2022
IAU Announces Three New Prizes for Astronomy Education, Outreach and Development

The IAU is launching three new prizes to be awarded every three years at the General Assembly: the IAU Astronomy Outreach Prize, the IAU Astronomy Development Prize and the IAU Astronomy Education Prize.

The IAU Astronomy Outreach, Development and Education (ODE) Prizes have been created with generous funding from IAU Past President Ewine van Dishoeck. Nominations are open from 15 February 2022 until 15 March 2022 for the first round of prizes, which will be presented at the IAU XXXI General Assembly in Busan, South Korea, in August.

The prizes are open to individuals and organisations who have made outstanding contributions to astronomy education, outreach or development. These contributions may be either lifetime achievements or major one-off projects. The eligible recipients shall be professional scientists, educators, science communicators or capacity-builders. Individual IAU members and non-members are eligible, as well as small teams or organisations. However, directors or employees of IAU Offices are not eligible when they are in office. Particular consideration will be given to people who are less well known but have performed excellent service in the domains of the awards.

The areas are defined roughly as follows:

  • Education: formal astronomy training at K-12, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • Outreach: public astronomy communication and informal education. This includes, but is not limited to, disciplines of informal astronomy education, media relations, audiovisuals, marketing, planetariums, museums, publishing, social media, storytelling, and application development for the web.
  • Development: use of astronomy as a tool for development and capacity-building, especially in underserved areas and regions.

Each area has a selection committee consisting of three people. An overarching “super-committee” consisting of an independent chair (this year Ewine van Dishoeck) plus the chairs from each of the three committees will receive the top-ranked nominations from the committees and will make the final decisions. 

Nominations may be submitted by anyone, but self-nominations will not be not accepted and members of the ODE committees cannot be nominated. The nominator should submit a brief resumé or CV (no more than 3 pages) of the nominee, along with a letter of no more than two pages explaining in detail the specific contributions and achievements of the nominee that merit the prize. In addition, one independent letter of support (also no more than two pages) is requested for each nomination. All material should be uploaded in PDF format by the nominator.

The ODE super-committee will submit its selections for the three prizes to the IAU Executive Committee for final approval, after which the winners will be contacted and announced in a press release on the IAU webpage. They will be invited to attend the IAU General Assembly in August 2022 for the prize ceremony, with registration, travel, and accomodation provided by the IAU.

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.



Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433 / +49 173 38 72 621
Email: lars.christensen@noirlab.edu


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