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Welcome to the Science Summit at UNGA76, a major contribution to advancing Science for the UN SDGs. Online from 14- September - 5 October 2021.
ISC will organise the second edition of the UNGA76 Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (SSUNGA76) in September 2021. The objective of the virtual meeting will be to raise awareness of the role and contribution of science to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It will demonstrate initiatives that provide models for global science mechanisms and activities in support of the SDGs, particularly in science infrastructure and capacity building. Science is and will enable sustainable economic, environmental, and societal development. Science is more than a funding prioritisation exercise: science is impacting all areas of policy-making and is playing a more critical role in how policy objectives are achieved and the consequent benefit to people everywhere, including responses to global challenges.
Engagement with policy leadership is more important than ever: UNGA76 is a unique forum for science to demonstrate how policy and political leadership can benefit from innovation. Central to this is the role of nonstate actors and the multilateral fora, which increasingly determine how priorities are set. Science needs to be part of this dialogue and inform outputs through thought leadership, evidence, insights, analysis, and innovation.

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Wednesday, September 15 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm
(REF AS15) The Unique Role of Astronomy in Advancing the SDGs

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UN GA 76 SCIENCE SUMMIT   
THE UNIQUE ROLE OF ASTRONOMY IN ADVANCING THE SDGS1,2 
Organised under auspices of Intelligence in Science and AERAP by the  
International Astronomical Union Office of Astronomy for Development and its European Regional Office3  
15 September 2021  15.00 – 17.30 CEST  
  
PROGRAMME 
15.00 – 15.05 Welcome and context  
Kevin Govender, Director IAU Office of Astronomy for Development 
 
15.05 – 15.10 Astronomy for Development – The IAU Role  
Debra Elmegreen, IAU President (Vassar College, USA) 
 
15.10 – 15.40 Introduction to Astronomy for Development4 
  Grace Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of    South Africa and Honorary Professor of Astronomy for Development at Leiden University  
15.40 – 15.50 Astronomy and the SDGs 
Chiara Moenter  (Windesheim College / Leiden University)  
 
15.50 – 16.05 Radio Astronomy Skills, Technology and Facilities in advancing the SDGs  
Anna Scaife (University of Manchester, UK) 
 
16.05. – 16.25  The role of the European Southern Observatory in advancing the SDGs 
Xavier Barcons, Director General European Southern Observatory 
 
16.25 – 16.35 Astronomy and Climate Action  
Violette Impellizzeri, Astronomers for Planet Earth (Yale University) 
 
16.35 – 16.45 The African Astronomical Society (AfAS): contributing towards SDG’s. 
  Charles Takalana, African Astronomical Society (Cape Town) 
 
16.45 – 16.55  Astrotourism and Economic Development  
Sonal Asgotraa, Project Manager, Astrostays 
 
16.55 – 17.05 Summary of OAD projects   
Ramasamy Venugopal (IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, Cape Town) 
 
17.05 - 17.15 Description of 4 selected projects, each for 2 min - prerecorded
 
17.15 – 17.35    Closing remarks, with concluding resolution about funding and discussion  
  George Miley, Previous IAU Vice President  
 
1 Complementary to the UN GA 75 Dialogue – Astronomy: A Unique Educational Tool for furthering the SDGs and Stimulating a Global Perspective https://astro4dev.eu/images/main/Dialogue_summary.pdf 
 
2 Funded with partial support of Grant 483.20.005 from NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research 
3 Partnership between the European Astronomical Society and Leiden University 
4 Prerecorded. Lecture given at University College Dublin on the occasion of the award of an honorary doctorate to her by the National University of Ireland.



Speakers
avatar for Violette Impellizzeri

Violette Impellizzeri

Program Manager, Leiden University
Violette is the Program Manager of Allegro at Leiden University. She has received her PhD in 2008 at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomie in Bonn and did  a postdoc at NRAO.  In 2011, she moved to the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) in Chile as a commissioning postdoc and science... Read More →
avatar for Kevin Govender

Kevin Govender

Director, IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
Founding and current director of IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), which was established in 2011, now with 11 regional offices and language centres globally. Previously Manager of the Southern African Large Telescope’s Collateral Benefits Programme at the South African... Read More →
avatar for George Miley

George Miley

Emeritus Professor, Leiden University
Title of talk: LOFAR-EUNAME. A new Model for Combining Science with Capacity BuildingGeorge Miley is Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Leiden University in the Netherlands and has authored several hundred papers on radio galaxies and quasars. He is a graduate of University College... Read More →
avatar for Charles Mpho Takalana

Charles Mpho Takalana

Head of Secretariat, African Astronomical Society
Charles Mpho Takalana completed his Ph.D. in physics focusing on Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in December 2020. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Charles currently works at the African... Read More →
avatar for Anna Scaife

Anna Scaife

Professor of Radio Astronomy, University of Manchester
Anna Scaife is Professor of Radio Astronomy at the University of Manchester, where she is head of the Jodrell Bank Interferometry Centre of Excellence and academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester. Her research focuses on the use of artificial intelligence for discovery in data-intensive... Read More →
avatar for Debra Elmegreen

Debra Elmegreen

President, International Astronomical Union
Debra Elmegreen is the new President of the International Astronomical Union. She is Professor of Astronomy on the Maria Mitchell Chair at Vassar College, New York, USA and was President of the American Astronomical Society from 2010 – 2012. Her main research interest is star formation... Read More →
avatar for Xavier Barcons

Xavier Barcons

Director - General, European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Xavier Barcons has been Director General of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) since 2017 and was President of the ESO Council from 2012 to 2014. He has contributed substantially to several of ESO’s major projects including the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA... Read More →
avatar for Sonal Asgotraa

Sonal Asgotraa

Program Leader, Astrostays
Sonal Asgotraa is Project Manager of the Global Himalayan Expedition’s Astronomy for Livelihood Initiative called “Astrostays”. During the past 3 years, Sonal has worked to create a unique community-centric Astro-tourism model that leverages astronomy to create sustainable socioeconomic... Read More →
avatar for Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor

Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South African Government
Her Excellency Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor has been South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation since 2019. She was trained as a teacher and taught at several schools and universities. She served as Minister of Education from 2004 – 2009 and Minister of Science... Read More →
avatar for Chiara Moenter

Chiara Moenter

Co-Founder, "SDG18: Space for All"
Chiara Moenter studied Global Project and Change Management at Windesheim Honours College. She carried out research at the IAU Office for Astronomy for Development on the contribution of astronomy and space sciences projects to the SDG Agenda. She is co-founder of the “SDG 18: Space... Read More →
avatar for Ramasamy Venugopal

Ramasamy Venugopal

Staff Member, IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
Ram Venugopal is a staff member at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development in Cape Town. He manages the selection and implementation of the IAU Astronomy for Development projects, funded by the office. He has a degree in space studies from the International Space University. An... Read More →



Wednesday September 15, 2021 3:00pm - 5:00pm CEST