The Astronomical Society of South Africa’sbiannual symposium will be held in October this year, in Cape Town. Registration will begin in June, but the organisers are already accepting abstracts from aspiring speakers. The official announcement, lifted from the symposium website, reads as follows:
Welcome to Cape Town!
ASSA is pleased to announce this year’s symposium, which will be held from 12 to 14 October 2012 at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town.
The theme of the symposium, “Looking back, looking forward”, reflects the significance of 2012. On the one hand, organised amateur astronomy turns 100 this year, which will be duly celebrated at the symposium. On the other hand, hopefully by October a decision on the Square Kilometre Array will have been made. So the symposium focusses on past and future of astronomy alike.
Venue and programme
The symposium will be held at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), one of South Africa’s major astronomical research institutions. The participants of the symposium will have the opportunity to explore the SAAO and its rich history.
The provisional programme is as follows.
12 October 2012 afternoon: outreach activities
evening: welcome function
13 October 2012 morning and afternoon: talks and workshops
evening: special Open Night: 100 years of amateur astronomy in Southern Africa
14 October 2012 morning and afternoon: talks and workshops
Online registration will be possible from the beginning of June, but you may submit abstracts for proposed talks before that by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Both amateur and professional astronomers are invited to give talks. And because of the theme of the symposium, talks concerning the history of astronomy, the SKA project and science with the Southern African Large Telescope are encouraged. The submission of topics for the workshops is also very welcome.
Regular readers will recall that I presented Urban Astronomer at the previous symposium in 2010. I’m quite keen to speak again and will be submitting my abstract shortly, so if you’ve never heard an Urban Astronomer presentation, why not think about registering and coming to have a listen? If that’s not enough to tempt you, it’s worth mentioning that you will have the opportunity to hear talks from across the spectrum of South African astronomy, from SAAO officials discussing the progress of research in SA, to professional astronomers discussing their research, to amateurs like myself. Well worth the time.