Invited Speakers


 Proposed  invited  speakers 

Alejandro Gangui
Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio, UBA-CONICET, Argentina.

«The Sun in the temple: archaeoastronomy and the orientation of historic churches«.
Cultural astronomy is an interdisciplinary area of research that studies how perceptions and concepts related to the sky are part of the worldview of several cultures. One of its branches, archaeoastronomy, focuses on the material remains of past peoples and tries to investigate their practices, history and astronomical knowledge. In this context, the orientation of Christian churches is now considered a distinctive feature of their architecture that repeats patterns from early Christian times. There is a general tendency to align their altars in the solar range, with a preference for orientations towards the east. In this talk we present an overview of our collaborations in the study of the astronomical orientation of heritage churches located in two -geographically and culturally- very distant regions, and we discuss how these topics represent a plentiful resource for science outreach and education.

Alejandro López
UBA, Argentina.

«Cultural Astronomy. A scientific frame to understand academic astronomy as part of the Social World».
In the past, Western academic astronomy has been a discipline that has conceived in a very specific way the scope of its interests. But, in recent decades there has been a promising openness to the rest of the society, in the context of areas such as education, heritage and outreach. The IAU 2020 and 2030 Strategic Plans have reflected that opening movement. Despite this, as I have indicated in previous works (López2016, 2018a, 2018b), there has not been an adequate scientific approach that accompanies this opening, which would imply taking into account and incorporating the knowledge of the social sciences. In fact, it is not just about including this knowledge, but also about building a truly interdisciplinary perspective that incorporates them and combines them with academic astronomical knowledge . . . text complete

Alex Young

«Heliophysics and Big Data».

Amelia Ortiz
Univ. de Valencia, Spain.

«Astronomy and Inclusion».

Carolina Ödman
Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA), University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa.

«Development and Outreach»

César González-García
Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit), CSIC, Spain.

«Our Sky, the Sky of Our Ancestors«.
When we talk about Astronomy, we normally do not take into account that we are using a cultural specific way of understanding the sky. Astronomers, either professional, amateur or just lovers of the sky nowadays tend to approach the sky from the point of view of modern science. There, we approach the sky as something that needs to be explored, understood and explained.

However, this vision was not always like that, or even in other cultures is/was completely different. For centuries, the human being has comprehended the sky, its changes and constancies, as part of their world, as part of the environment, as part of their everyday life. 
In this talk, I will review a few of these different ways of approaching the sky in several cultures, from the Near East to Rome or the Andes and how we can use them today for education, outreach and heritage management.

Daniela Lazzaro
Observatorio Nacional Coordenação de Pesquisas em Astronomia e Astrofisica, Brazil.

«The role of women in Astronomy in promoting education and culture».

Georg Zotti
LBI ArchPro, Austria.

«Stellarium: simulation for research and outreach«.
Over the past decade the free and open-source cross-platform desktop planetarium program Stellarium has gained not only most of the computational accuracy requirements for today’s amateur astronomers, but also unique capabilities for specialized applications in cultural astronomy research and astronomical outreach. A 3D rendering module can put virtual reconstructions of human-made monuments in their surrounding landscape under the day and night skies of their respective epochs, so that the user can investigate and experience the potential connection of architecture, landscape, light and shadow, and the sky. It also played a key role in an exhibition about Stonehenge in Austria.
Exchangeable “skycultures” allow the presentation of constellation patterns and mythological figures of non-Western cultures. Stellarium’s multi-language support allows community-driven translation of the whole program, which predestines its use in education also in minority languages.
Stellarium is developed by a very small core team, but is open to external contributions. Most notably we invite well-researched skycultures, for which some capabilities may also need further development.

Gloria Delgado Inglada
Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM.

«Estrelleros: Astronomy in hospitals«.
Estrelleros is an initiative of the Institute of Astronomy of the UNAM to bring astronomy to hospitalized children. We use astronomy as a tool to increase curiosity and scientific culture in these children. We take workshops, telescopes, a mobile planetarium, and conferences to public hospitals in Mexico City. This experience also serves children and their families as distraction and fun amid very complicated situations. We will develop a «basic kit» that allows astronomers from other cities to implement visits. Also teachers will be able to use our material in their classrooms (especially in isolated school with little access to this kind of activities). The kit will contain documents and video capsules with explanations on how to develop the workshops and also with scientific content. This is a project funded and supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología and the Instituto de Astronomía of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

John Hearnshaw
Canterbury University, New Zealand.

«The IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030, a blueprint for forging a new social revolution in astronomy and for using astronomy as a tool for building a progressive society«.
I will discuss the second IAU Strategic Plan for the decade 2020-30 in the context of the overall evolution of the IAU in recent past decades. This article will show how the IAU has evolved dramatically since WW2. It is hardly recognizable in terms of its original organization and goals of a century ago. What was once an inward-looking body engaged purely with the procedures of astronomical research is now a dynamic and outward-looking organization, interacting with people, especially students and the public.
A large part of this success must be attributed to the IAU’s unique body of individual members, whose number has grown strongly in recent decades. It is the individual members, especially through the Commissions and Working Groups, who have promoted these enormous changes in the outlook of the Union. This is a model for other scientific unions to follow, and especially for the work to promote the careers of women in science, for promoting the careers of young astronomers, for bringing students into astronomy or into science in general, for helping people with disabilities to have careers in astronomy, for engaging with the public, and for helping to develop astronomy and science in developing countries.
Looking to the future, the IAU’s new Strategic Plan for the years 2020 to 2030 (van Dishoeck & Elmegreen, 2018) has five major goals for the coming decade:
1. The IAU leads the worldwide coordination of astronomy and the fostering of communication and dissemination of astronomical knowledge among professional astronomers.
2. The IAU promotes the inclusive advancement of the field of astronomy in every country.
3. The IAU promotes the use of astronomy as a tool for development in every country.
4. The IAU engages the public in astronomy through access to astronomical information and communication of the science of astronomy.
5. The IAU stimulates the use of astronomy for teaching and education at school level.
Future developments will also be engaging with the large number of amateur astronomers and helping to promote astro-tourism, which is perhaps the new frontier now growing rapidly around the world. The Strategic Plan is a blueprint for forging a social revolution in astronomy and for using astronomy as a tool for building a progressive society. 

Karen Hallberg
CAB-IB, Argentina.

«Women in Science».

Laura Noto
Inst. Relat. Office, CONICET, Argentina.

Amazement is prior to knowledge. How to tell the public the beauty of science”.
Marie Curie said: “I’m one of those who think that there’s great beauty in science. A scientist in her or his lab is not only a technician: it is a child observing natural phenomena that impress as in a fairy tale.”

We are all aware that what aroused our curiosity led to explore the reason why something happens such as ‘Why does the sun rise?’ ‘Why does the sea come and go?’ ‘What is a rainbow?’ That is how we start that long adventure of looking for answers in our lives.
When we talk about science, how do we recreate in adults the amazement of children?

Michael Fitzgerald
Edith Cowan Inst. for Educ. Research, Australia.

«A review of astronomy education research from 1904 to 2019«.
In this talk I will provide a comprehensive overview of astronomy education from 1904 to 2019. Our team has trawled the literature from the earliest moments of the 20th Century until now leading to over 2000 individual journal articles, conference proceedings articles, books and postgraduate thesis, the vast majority being published from 1990 onwards. The talk will explore the interesting patterns found by construct (e.g. content knowledge, spatial reasoning, nature of science, attitudes), geographical location, target group and various other dimensions such as methodology, research setting and others. The talk will identify those areas that have been sufficiently researched as well as neglected areas while suggesting fertile areas of the research field that require more study.


Mónica Oddone
Córdoba Astron. Observ., Argentina.

«Astronomy Olympics: awakening scientific and tecnical vocations».

Néstor Camino
UNSJB, Argentina.

«The earthly gaze upon the sky: a single worldview or many worldviews in dialogue?
A discussion on the role of the Teaching of Astronomy in the construction of a current cosmovision will be presented, analyzing in particular the epistemological, social and ethical characteristics that would demand that it be respectful of the cultural and social diversity that characterizes contemporary civilization, as opposed to the imperialistic, totalitarian, homogenizing, scientificist and almost inhuman conception, dominant in some institutional proposals that are in development in different parts of the world.

Shanshan LI
National Astronomical Observatories, China.

«The vigorous development of data driven astronomy education and public outreach (DAEPO)«.
Astronomy education and public outreach(EPO) is one of the important part, or maybe the fundamental of the development of astronomy research and even the science research. During the past few years, as the develop of Internet and the policy changes, the environment of the science EPO showing the booming trends. Not just the school and science museum willing to put more resources in EPO activates, processional astronomers join in and bring a great amount of latest astronomy content. Among all the activates and projects of astronomy EPO, DAEPO related projects occupy very important position. Real data and big data technology accelerated the cooperation between professional astronomy team, enterprise and the astronomy educators. DAEPO has helped form a good atmosphere for astronomical EPO and is going to keep booming the development of it. The background, best cases and prospective development of DAEPO will be include in this talk.

Susana Deustua
STScI – President of IAU-Div C, USA. 

«IAU Strategic Plan for Education».


 Conference for the Public 

Jay Pasachoff
Williams College-Hopkins Observatory, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA, and Chair, IAU Working Group on Solar Eclipses.

(English). Conference in english, with translator.

«This Solar Eclipse and Others«.
I will discuss the science and the magnificence of observing total solar eclipses, most recently the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse that my team observed from Chile.  Among the scientific problems being addressed at recent eclipses are motions in the solar corona, possible precursors to Sun-Earth space-weather events, the spectra from iron and argon that are so ionized that they have lost about half their normal electrons, the distribution of million+ kelvin gas in the corona, and how the corona is heated to a million kelvins or more.  For outreach, I will discuss how to persuade the general public to travel into the zone of totality, and how to safely observe partial phases.  I will discuss the 2017 and 2018 annular solar eclipses that I observed from Buenos Aires and Patagonia, Argentina, respectively, and the 2019 annular solar eclipses observed from India and elsewhere in Africa and Asia.  I will prepare the scene for the December 14, total solar eclipse that my scientific team will observe from Las Grutas on the Atlantic Coast and for which the meeting will have an excursion.
Acknowledgments: JMP’s eclipse research receives major support from grant AGS-903500 from the Solar Terrestrial Program, Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division, U.S. National Science Foundation.

Andrea Sosa Oyarzabal
Univ. de la Rep. – Centro Univ. Reg. del Este, Uruguay.
(Spanish). Conference in spanish.

«Apaguemos las luces y encendamos la noche: al rescate de la luz de las estrellas en una era de iluminación artificial«.

NiKos Prantzos (to be confirmed)
Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, France.
(French). Conference in french, with translator.

«The quest for extraterrestral intelligence and the Fermi paradox».