The “Meet the IAU Astronomers!” programme connects teachers, informal educators and amateur astronomer groups with IAU-members for meet-up (events) where professional astronomers have the chance to share their research, the importance of astronomy for society, and why following astronomy as a career is a viable and rewarding choice. The Meet the IAU Astronomers! programme goals is to “facilitate international communication through exchanges” and “encourage communication of science and critical thinking through IAU member public engagement”. A relaunch in spring 2022 was set to align the programme objectives and event structure with new evaluation instruments and to provide astronomers and organisers with tools that allow them to deliver inclusive events. Presented in comprehensive handbooks, the proposed structure and methodology widen the scope of the events and aim to facilitate events that strive to create lasting personal and social impact on the communities, participants and the astronomers themselves. The handbooks also encourage astronomers to consciously incorporate inclusive outreach practices and strategies that will encourage critical thinking, for example, by including opportunities for participants to identify, analyse, and evaluate the content shared. In this presentation, we will introduce the programme and describe best practices gathered from other projects, such as STEM Ambassadors, that reflect inclusive practices and inform the Meet the IAU Astronomers! programme.
About Suzana Filipecki Martins
Suzana is an International Outreach Officer at the IAU's Office of Astronomy Outreach based in Japan.