The IAU100 Global actions have been designed under specific themes that will help to achieve the IAU100’s main goals.
Through the organisation of different high-level events, the IAU100 Years celebrations will bring together high-level representatives, policy-makers and astronomers to discuss the potential of astronomy as a tool for development, education and diplomacy, and raise awareness of the coordinating role of the IAU for the global astronomical community over the past century.
Astronomy & the Sustainable Development Goals
This theme focuses on highlighting the importance of astronomy for society. As one of the oldest sciences, astronomy is part of every culture’s history and roots and is one of the few scientific fields that appeals directly to society. Astronomy not only transcends borders, but actively promotes collaborations around the world. Thanks to its technological, scientific, and cultural dimensions astronomy is a unique and cost-effective tool for furthering sustainable global development and helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
New Worlds: ‘Are we alone?’
The actions under this theme foster a sense of global citizenship and critical thinking by evaluating our place in the Universe through the organisation of activities related to exoplanets and astrobiology.
100 Years of General Relativity: Eclipse
The year 2019 also marks the 100th anniversary of the solar eclipse observations that served as the first successful test of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which fundamentally changed the way we understand gravity and the Universe. This theme highlights and explains this important milestone by organising commemorative actions, as well as reaching out to larger audiences to raise awareness of the importance of gravity and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity by building up on recent discoveries such as the detections of Gravitational Waves.
Astronomy Natural and Cultural Heritage
This theme raises awareness that astronomy represents a rich and significant aspect of cultural and natural heritage by organising actions that highlight its importance and preserve it to pass onto future generations. In addition, it promotes the preservation of quiet and dark skies by (i) bringing the issues of natural environment and energy preservation to the attention of decision makers; (ii) organising educational and public engagement activities.
One important focus of the IAU100 Years celebrations is the implementation of actions to support and encourage women and minority scientists and engineers at all career levels, and to promote inclusive, an equitable work environments in astronomy-related careers. In addition, this is centered on facilitating access to astronomical resources and careers for people with special educational or physical needs, or those who might be excluded for their particular race or gender, as well as providing access to excellent role models and mentors.
Astronomy for Education
The actions under this theme focus on improving scientific literacy, in particular in the field of astronomy by inspiring and promoting the interest for the subject in young minds as well as training teachers and educators on the use of new tools and methodologies that enable the development of scientific literacy, autonomous knowledge construction and acquisition of 21st century skills, using astronomy as a trigger.
Through the organisation of sidewalk astronomy events enable as many people as possible, especially children, to look at the sky through a telescope and gain a basic understanding of the Universe.