The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.
The IAU is hopeful that immunisation programmes will have allowed a return to normality by then. The triennial Business Meetings, including the elections for the next three years as set out in the IAU Bye-Laws, will take place in August 2021 as virtual meetings. Decisions are in progress regarding the General Assembly scientific programme, including Symposia and Focus Meetings, that had been planned for the meeting in 2021. The IAU will publish these decisions as soon as they have been finalised by the IAU Executive Committee.