6 February 2020

Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2020 Conference Invites Abstracts

Richard Fienberg

Richard Fienberg Running Hare Observatory

Note added 28 April 2020: CAP 2020 has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. A new schedule will be announced in June 2020, and the conference will be renamed CAP 2021.

This post is adapted from an IAU Commission C2 web page:

Sydney Opera House


From 21 to 25 September 2020, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, will host the world’s largest conference on astronomy communication: Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2020 (CAP 2020). Professionals from science communication, informal education, planetariums, and science centers, as well as professional and amateur astronomers, journalists, and other creative types are invited to attend the conference to exchange ideas and best practices. Under the central theme of “Communicating Astronomy for a Better World: Environment, Culture, and Peace”, the Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) is inviting proposals for oral presentations, posters, and workshops to be submitted online by 15 March 2020.

Topics for the conference:

  • Current Challenges in Astronomy Communication
  • Best Practices in Public Outreach
  • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Empathy in Communicating Astronomy
  • The Media’s Role in Astronomy Communication
  • Using Multimedia, Social Media, Immersive Environments, and other Technologies for Public Engagement with Astronomy
  • Astronomy and Climate Change
  • Astronomy Communication to Promote Peace
  • The Role of Astronomy in Bridging Cultures
  • Communicating Astronomy in the Asia–Pacific Region.

Participants will also have the opportunity to add their own topics for discussion during the event’s “unconference” slots.

Networking activities will encourage learning from peers, identifying potential partners, and strengthening the links between Asia–Pacific and international science communicators.

The SOC is also planning two special sessions:

  • The Legacy of the IAU100 Celebrations
  • Communicating Astronomy: The IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) will offer a small number of grants or fee waivers to selected participants from around the world, in particular colleagues from economically less privileged countries and young scientists/professional communicators without institutional travel support. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2020.

CAP 2020 is being organized by IAU Commission C2, Communicating Astronomy with the Public, in collaboration with the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and Macquarie University. To stay up to date with the latest information for CAP 2020, please join the CAP Conference mailing list and/or follow the conference on Facebook, Twitter, or via the hashtag #CAP2020.

For queries regarding the scientific content of the conference or international media requests, please email the CAP 2020 SOC.