Nature Astronomy

Astronomy for development

Relating the study of astronomy to everyday life can sometimes be a struggle, but when modern, high-tech astronomy is encouraged through collaboration or brought to less advanced regions, significant human development can result.

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Jul 24, 2018
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Major astronomical or planetary science discoveries are often announced by Western and far-Eastern space agencies and research organisations, but there are concerted efforts to develop facilities and initiate astronomical communities in other regions of the world that deserve to be highlighted. This is particularly the case in Africa, where home-grown efforts such as the MeerKAT array and international partnerships with Western organisations are delivering exciting astronomical findings. Moreover, the increase and spread of astronomical activity in the continent is having a significant impact on development, and there are several astronomy-related projects focused on helping African countries achieve some of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For instance, the education, training and sustenance of African school children in partnership with the International Astronomical Union, who are applying the inspiration of astronomy to the classroom, is leading to observable changes in literacy levels.

The editors of Nature Astronomy have compiled a Collection of articles related to astronomy beyond the usual hubs, and in particular the related development initiatives that astronomy is stimulating. You can read the Collection articles here: https://www.nature.com/collections/xtxtmqfrgf



Image credit: Lost Horizon Images/ Cultura Creative (RF) / Alamy Stock Photo

Go to the profile of Paul Woods

Paul Woods

Editor, Nature Astronomy

I am the Editor at Nature Astronomy who usually deals with papers on stars, the interstellar medium, the Milky Way & the Magellanic Clouds and anything molecular. My background is in astrochemistry, looking particularly at star & planet formation, the Early Solar System, evolved stars and the dust content of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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