Letters of Intent received in 2022

LoI 2024-2181
Gendered Astronomy, Gendered Sky

Date: 5 November 2024 to 6 November 2024
Category: Focus meetings (GA)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Contact: Jarita Holbrook (jc.holbrook@ed.ac.uk)
Coordinating division: Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage
Other divisions:
Co-Chairs of SOC: JC Holbrook (University of Edinburgh)
Johnson O Urama (University of Nigeria)
Saeko Hayashi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)
Steve Gullberg (University of Oklahoma)
Mamta Pommier (Université de Montpellier)
Chair of LOC: None (None)



Proposed Themes
1. Increasing the number of Women and members of underrepresented groups.
1.1. History of the participation of Women and members of underrepresented groups in astrophysics
1.2. What are the latest statistics on the number of women and members of underrepresented groups in astrophysics
1.3. Learning from successful efforts to increase these numbers
1.4. Learning from successful retention efforts
1.5. Interventions around childcare and housekeeping
2. The COVID Pandemic
2.1. Mediating the impact of the COVID Pandemic on astrophysics careers
2.2. The impact of the COVID Pandemic on Indigenous Knowledge Holders
3. Women in the Indigenous Sky
3.1. Constellations, asterisms and planets given female names
3.2. The myths and meanings behind female celestial objects
4. Gendered Others in the Indigenous Sky
4.1. Constellations, asterisms and planets given non-binary genders
4.2. Constellations, asterisms and planets that have changing genders
5. Indigenous Knowledge Holders of Sky Knowledge
5.1. Men’s Knowledge and Women’s Knowledge
5.2. The lives of Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are non-binary



Focus Meeting: Gendered Astronomy, Gendered Sky
Jarita Holbrook (chair Ethnoastronomy and Intangible Heritage, Division C)
Johnson Urama (Vice chair Ethnoastronomy and Intangible Heritage, Division C)

The goal is to bring together astrophysicists, cultural astronomers, Indigenous knowledge holders, historians and statisticians to engage with the latest research on women in astronomy, gendered Indigenous constellations, gendered Indigenous sky knowledge and the gender dimensions of who has access to astronomy/indigenous astronomy. There is pressure to have accurate data on the number of women and members of underrepresented groups to build our understanding of variations across nations, pressure to engage with Indigenous knowledge holders to learn and record their sky knowledge before such knowledge is lost, and pressure to identify interventions, strategies and policies that have been successful that may be modified for broader use. The COVID Pandemic has impacted all of these, thus we think that COVID needs to be highlighted, too.

For this Focus Meeting we have partnered with the IAU Women in Astronomy Working Group and the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach.

Science Organizing Committee
Jarita Holbrook (United Kingdom)
Johnson Urama (Nigeria)
Thebe Medupe (South Africa)
Lerothodi Leeuw (South Africa)
Motheo Koitsiwe (South Africa)
Thelma Oppelt (South Africa) - non-IAU
Alejandro Lopez (Argentina)
Duane Hamacher (Australia)
Steve Gullberg (USA)
Saeko Hayashi (Japan)
Priya Hasan Shah (India)
Mamta Pommier (France)
Juan Antonio Belmonte (Spain)

Potential Invited Speakers
1. Anthony Aveni (USA) – Archaeoastronomer that introduced the gendered sky concept in his latest book “Star Stories: Constellations and People.” 2020. Colgate University.
2. Lisa Kewley (USA) – Astrophysicist, Writes about the status and progress of women astronomers in Australia. IAU Div J. Harvard CfA
3. Rachel Ivie (USA) – Statistician at the American Physical Society, publishes stats on women in astronomy utilizing an international survey. APS
4. Agustina Altman (Argentina) – Anthropologist engaged with Indigenous knowledge holders and their astro-cosmology in South America. CONICET
5. Kirsten Banks (Australia) – Indigenous Australian Astrophysicist, works both in astrophysics and Indigenous knowledge studies. University of New South Wales.
6. Annette S. Lee (USA) – Indigenous American Astrophysicist, works with Indigenous groups in the USA. Arizona State University
7. Javier Mejuto (Honduras) – Head of the Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy Department, National University of Honduras. IAU Div C