IAU OAO: Call for Hosting the 2018 Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference

Press Release From: International Astronomical Union
Posted: Monday, June 27, 2016

The next Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) Conference is scheduled between March and June 2018. The location and dates of the week-long meeting will be established following an open call for proposals, which is officially launched today. The deadline for applications is 20 August 2016.

The CAP Conference series are organized by Commission C2 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the goal of facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices in the field of astronomy and space communication, as well as informal education.

CAP is an excellent opportunity to stimulate local astronomy communication. The conference helps strengthen the local community of professionals by connecting them to the global network of astronomy communicators and giving them access to the latest trends, lessons learnt from other parts of the globe and ongoing projects they could tap into.

Institutions interested in uplifting astronomy communication in their region by hosting CAP2018 should submit an application via an email to with the subject CAP2018 consisting of:

* A letter of intent (written proof of support from a solid Local Organizing Committee is a plus);
* A preliminary budget (including estimates for the conference fee, hotel prices);
* A description of the conference venue (examples of previous successful events at the venue are a plus);
* The suggested dates;
* A timeline for organizing the event.

The Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conferences Working Group of the IAU Commission C2 will evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

* The average travel cost to reach the location from different regions;
* The average costs in the respective country or geographical area (accommodation, local transport, etc.);
* The facilities offered by the venue;
* Timing and how it fits within the March - June 2018 interval;
* The safety and security of the region for participants;
* Local activities;
* The impact that it can bring to the region.

The CAP Working Group is interested in supporting astronomy communication in as many areas of the globe as possible. Therefore, preference will be given to regions where the CAP Conference has never been organized before [1]. However, this will not be the only deciding factor.

Successful applicants will be notified by end of August and a second, more detailed proposal will be requested from the finalists. This proposal might include proof of partnerships initiated, proof of local support from authorities, etc. The deadline for the second proposal is planned for October 2016 with final decision to be taken in November 2016 and results communicated by December 2016.

For further details, do not hesitate to contact the Working Group Chairs (see below).


[1] The CAP Conference has been organized in the following places: Washington DC (USA), Munich (Germany), Athens (Greece), Cape Town (South Africa), Beijing (China), Warsaw (Poland), Medellin (Colombia).

Oana Sandu
ESO Community Coordinator & Strategy Officer
CAP Conferences Working Group co-chair
+49 89 320 069 65

Sze-leung Cheung
IAU International Outreach Coordinator
CAP Conferences Working Group co-chair
+81 422 34 3896, cell: +81 80 9274 2454

Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2016:

Communicating Astronomy with the Public:

Previous CAP conferences:

IAU CAP Conference Facebook page:

IAU CAP Conference mailing list:

The IAU is the international astronomical organization that brings together more than 10,000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.

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