GAM 2017 Blog

By Lina Canas, on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC)

In 2018, the city of Fukuoka, in Japan, will host the largest conference in Astronomy Communication - the Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) Conference, from 24 to 28 March 2018.

lana 1Image I - The organisation has chosen 24 to 28, March 2018 as the dates for the conference, hoping to provide the full Japanese cherry blossom experience to all CAP 2018 participants.

CAP Conference series are organised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), through Commission 2 - Communicating Astronomy with the Public. The IAU has more than 10,000 active members in 98 countries worldwide, and its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of Astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Since 2003, CAP meetings have facilitated the exchange of ideas and best practices in Astronomy and Space communication and informal education. 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 and ongoing projects.

Consolidating the many Japanese efforts made in Astronomy Communication, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and Fukuoka City teamed up to bring the international astronomy outreach and communication community to Japan. CAP 2018 is a call to all Science Communicators; Informal Educators; Professional & Amateurs astronomers; Public Outreach Professionals, Planetarium, Museum & Science Centers Professionals; Natural & Social Science Researchers; Journalists; Writers; Creatives and Artists - to gather in Japan and to share and experience the latest advances in the field. CAP 2018 will be a unique opportunity for meeting new professionals in astronomy communication face-to-face, and strengthen Japanese, Asian-Pacific and international relations.

lana 2Image II - The brand-new Fukuoka City Science Museum on Japan's Kyushu Island has been chosen to receive the conference. The museum will open in October 2017 and will bring science to all Fukuoka’s citizens and visitors. It aims to make science accessible to the public and to provide an environment where children can express their creativity through fun and engaging science experiences.

"Communicating Astronomy in Today’s World: Purpose & Methods" is the 2018 Edition theme, and different topics will cover a myriad of key aspects of communicating science in the present and ever changing societies. Ranging from the Current Challenges in Astronomy Communication; Best Practices in Public Outreach; Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Empathy in Communicating Astronomy; Astronomy Communication for a Better World; Engagement with Astronomy; to the Media’s Role in Astronomy Communication: Using Multimedia, Social Media, Immersive Environments and other Technologies for Public. A Special Topic will be highlighted: Public Engagement Opportunities during the IAU Century Celebration, in preparation for the advent of the IAU 100th year anniversary celebrations in 2019.

CAP Japan will also represent a chance to know more about the cultural multiplicity Japan has to offer - the beautiful surroundings of the conference, the vibrant city of Fukuoka and the Island of Kyushu. We believe that immersing CAP participants in Japanese culture will benefit from a closeness that will reflect in future collaborations and strengthen the bonds with Asia and between themselves.

lana 3Image III - CAP 2018 artwork is profoundly influenced by iconic Astronomy projects depicted in Japanese style drawings. Merging in one piece - the deep Astronomy roots from Japanese culture, to the state of the art high-tech Astronomy endeavours - all under one sky, one planet - celebrating the collaboration and support between the different people of Planet Earth.   

We want to thank to Astronomers without Borders for the support since day one to our proposal of hosting CAP 2018 in Japan, and we hope that this collaboration can help to reach the international amateur astronomer's community, highlight and support the amateur astronomers highly impacting role in astronomy outreach around the world.

Registration for CAP 2018 will open on May 1, so please stay tuned for more news, as our team prepares to welcome you to - what we deeply hope! - will truly be a memorable and impacting experience for both the community and astronomy communication.

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photo linaLina Canas is currently based at National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Mitaka, Tokyo working for the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach. Throughout the years she has collaborated with many education and outreach associations in different projects, allowing her to know first-hand that the world is full of amazing people doing amazing things! Many of her hobbies overlap with her work, which sometimes is confusingly fun & confusingly stressing at the same time.