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Paper: IAU Regional Office of Astronomy for Development: Coordination in Southwest and Central Asia
Volume: 520, Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East
Page: 267
Authors: Mickaelian, A. M.; Farmanyan, S. V.; Mikayelyan, G. A.
Abstract: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced its Strategic Plan on Astronomy for Development in 2009, during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). One of its main components was the creation of the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and corresponding Regional Offices (ROADs) for implementation and coordination of its aims. The OAD was created in Cape Town, South Africa and later on ROADs were created in 8 regions. Since 2015, Armenia has hosted one of them, IAU South West Asian (SWA), later renamed to South West and Central Asian (SWCA) ROAD. At present, six countries have officially joined (Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey), but the Office serves a rather broad region, from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. Armenia's geographical location and its historical role in astronomy (both for well-known archaeoastronomical heritage and the presence of the famous Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, BAO, founded by Viktor Ambartsumian in 1946) serve as a link between Europe and Eastern Partnership countries, and the Middle East and Asia in general. We run activities in 3 directions, with three Task Forces: Universities and Research, Children and Schools, and Public Outreach. We present our projects and all other accomplishments, and discuss the role of our ROAD in maintaining contacts and development of astronomy in the region, as well as contacts between Europe and the Eastern Partnership countries. The most up-to-date information about the IAU SWCA ROAD is available on its webpage:
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