IAU GA Travel Fund for African Astronomers
Beth Willman LSST Discovery Alliance
Every three years, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) organizes a General Assembly (GA) where thousands of astronomers meet to discuss progress in their scientific field. In 2024, and for the first time in the over 100-year history of the IAU, the GA will take place on the African continent. This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many African astronomers.
LSST Discovery Alliance (LSST-DA), in collaboration with the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) and the National Organizing Committee of the IAU GA, is raising funds to support African astronomers to attend the IAU GA in their own continent. This fundraising campaign is the sole avenue for individuals to donate to this program. Donations can be made from anywhere in the world.
Astronomy is currently an emerging scientific field in Africa. Although it is taught and researched, funding is often tight, and in particular, students and early-career researchers may not have local funds to enable them to attend professional conferences. Moreover, there is currently minimal engagement with African countries in Rubin’s LSST.
Attending a professional conference alongside the leaders in their field of study, including Nobel Prize winners, is often a life-changing and career-defining opportunity. In order to make the IAU GA a truly African and inclusive event, this fund will provide travel grants for professional astronomers who are working and living in Africa, including MSc and PhD students, to attend the GA.
Please join us in supporting this unique opportunity to expand inclusion in astronomy! LSST-DA will direct 100% of funds received to AfAS. If contributions exceed the demand for travel support through this program, AfAS will use them to support astronomy programs in Africa.