Australia and the International Astronomical Union: the 2003 Sydney general assembly

Article


Lomb, Nick. 2021. "Australia and the International Astronomical Union: the 2003 Sydney general assembly." Historical Records of Australian Science. 32 (1), pp. 83-97. https://doi.org/10.1071/HR20015
Article Title

Australia and the International Astronomical Union: the 2003 Sydney general assembly

ERA Journal ID3482
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorLomb, Nick
Journal TitleHistorical Records of Australian Science
Journal Citation32 (1), pp. 83-97
Number of Pages15
Year2021
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN0727-3061
1448-5508
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1071/HR20015
Web Address (URL)https://www.publish.csiro.au/hr/HR20015
Abstract

Thirty years after the first International Astronomical Union general assembly in Australia, another was held, again in Sydney. Organisation of the 2003 general assembly was complex as the IAU and would-be participants had much greater expectations than at the previous event. Australia had been awarded the 2003 general assembly six years earlier during the assembly at Kyoto, Japan. Full advantage was taken of the intervening time with the setting up of a National Organising Committee that planned the conference together with a professional conference organiser. Formal responsibility for the conference was undertaken by the Astronomical Society of Australia since that role had to be undertaken by a legally constituted body. As the date of the general assembly approached there were fears of insufficient registered participants to cover expenses due to the discouragement of international travel by terrorist incidents, the Iraq war and, especially, the SARS epidemic. In the end, the conference had a good response so that it could go ahead with an opening at the Sydney Opera House and could offer a wide-ranging scientific program. There were numerous related meetings, such as those on women in astronomy, astronomical education and light pollution. As well, an extensive outreach program brought astronomy not only to people in Sydney, but to people around the country.

Keywordsastronomy, astrophysics, conference, research, historical, international astronomical union
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020510199. Astronomical sciences not elsewhere classified
430399. Historical studies not elsewhere classified
449999. Other human society not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsCentre for Astrophysics
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q606z/australia-and-the-international-astronomical-union-the-2003-sydney-general-assembly

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