The IAU GA 2024 will be held on 6–15 August 2024 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, marking the first time since the Union was established over a century ago that its triennial assembly will take place in Africa.
Following the example of recent IAU General Assemblies, this meeting will have a hybrid format, meaning that participants can register to attend either in person or virtually. Additionally, to foster accessibility, the GA will be open-access for the first time, offering individuals around the world the opportunity to remotely access live talks from researchers working at the forefront of astronomy. Only paying participants will be able to present talks, ask questions in real time, and interact with other speakers and attendees, but their registration fees will contribute to making this open-access event possible, enabling anyone to listen free of charge.
While the hybrid and open-access format reflect the important principles of inclusion and diversity, attending in person will be a valuable opportunity for participants, particularly early-career astronomers, to forge collaborations and advance their careers. Bringing together thousands of astronomers at the first IAU GA in Africa, the meeting will be a stimulating and inspiring event for the global community.
The IAU will offer IAU grants to participants who may not have sufficient travel funds. The African Astronomical Society (AfAS), with the support of the South African Department of Science and Technology and other sponsors, will also offer grants to participants who may not have funding. For in-person recipients, some volunteer services may be requested by the IAU GA 2024 National Organising Committee. Applicants must register for IAU GA 2024 and fill out the relevant grant application form by 1 March 2024. Both IAU and AfAS grant applications open on 30 November 2023.
Travel grants are also provided by the US National Science Foundations and administered by the American Astronomical Society for airline travel to international science meetings by individuals at US institutions.
Journalists and public information officers are invited to sign up for the GA via the pre-registration form. The GA Press Office will be in operation on all weekdays.
Abstract submission opens on 30 November 2023 for both in-person and virtual participants and closes on 1 March 2024 (together with the early-bird registration).
The National Organising Committee has set out three core values to define the ethos of the event: accessibility, impact, and environmental sustainability. Firstly, the meeting will be made accessible not only through the hybrid and open-access format, but also through a family-friendly conference environment to support participants with familial responsibilities. Alongside scientific impact, societal impact will be promoted through collaborations with local businesses and artists, and opportunities to engage with educational initiatives and outreach activities. Finally, innovative measures are being considered to improve the meeting’s environmental sustainability, and to spark discussions that inspire action towards building climate-resilient societies.
The scientific conference programme will address every aspect of astronomy, including the leading role that Africa and its people are playing in this collective human endeavour, in which all are invited to partake.