#14 June 2021

IAU Executive Committee Working Group Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion Newsletter #14 June 2021

1) Join the “LGBTQI+ Communities in Astronomy” subgroup2) IAU Statement on Climate Change
3) Relevant Reads
4) Open Letter for Codes of Conduct in Astronomy Collaborations
5) Apply for International Outreach Officer with the IAU OAO
6) A&A’s retroactive name change policy7) IAU Astrotourism Workshop | Dark Sky Tourism: An engine for sustainable socio-economic development
8) Join our Subgroups
9) Subscribe to our Basecamp and join the discussion
10) Share your News!

Dear friends,

Welcome to the fourteenth issue of our monthly newsletter. 

In this issue, we want to highlight the celebrations of Pride Month in June and welcome you to join our subgroup on “LGBTQI+ Communities in Astronomy”. We encourage you to watch the recording of the IAU astrotourism workshop focused on dark sky tourism for sustainable socio-economic development held on June 28; and read the open letter for codes of conduct in astronomy collaborations an initiative led by our colleagues in.

Wishing you all our best,

Lina Canas & Amelia Ortiz-Gil

1) Join the “LGBTQI+ Communities in Astronomy” subgroup

The purpose of this subgroup is to ensure the representation of the members of those communities, including those who feel free and able to share their status and those who do not. There is a great deal of intersectionality between these communities, and the ways that they support each other, so grouping into one subgroup appears appropriate. Members of these communities can experience intolerance and harassment both within the astronomical community and within the academic and national communities in which they live. It is of note that some member nations of the International Astronomical Union have various degrees of legislation in place which fail to protect or actively incriminates, members of these communities.

This subgroup will work to i) make recommendations where IAU policy could or should be improved for the inclusiveness of these communities; ii) ensure the positive contributions of members of these communities (who are willing and safe to be identified as such) to astronomy are highlighted; iii) ensure that membership of the International Astronomical Union, and participation in astronomy as a profession or hobby, is considered a safe space by members of these communities; iv) where possible, find ways to raise awareness to the above issues in astronomy.

If you wish to become a member, please send an email to Jake at noelstorr@astro.rug.nl .

2) IAU Statement on Climate Change

The IAU calls on our community to develop and implement specific actions to help achieve the aims of the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change. The study of astronomy provides all citizens with a unique perspective and view of the Universe that highlights the fragility of life on planet Earth. 

Read the full statement at https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau2105/ 

3) Relevant Reads

Over half of LGBTQI students in Europe bullied in school, says UNESCO report
Summary and link to the full report and video summary at
We would like to thank Mike Simmons for sharing the news with us.

A minority within a minority
Having multiple intersections of identity makes navigating geoscience complicated. Now is the time for non-marginalized people to take action and dismantle the biased system, outlines Jazmin Scarlett in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment (2021)

4) Open Letter for Codes of Conduct in Astronomy Collaborations

In light of recent events within the astronomy community, it has become increasingly apparent that many official collaborations in astronomy lack Codes of Social Conduct, with policies in place to deal with cases of behavioural misconduct. The authors believe Codes of Conduct to be important tools to make academia a safe, respectful and inclusive environment, and have therefore written an Open Letter to the Community soliciting their introduction in all collaborations, with the hope to encourage and normalise their implementation.

You can read and sign the Letter at the following links:

– View Petition:


– Sign Petition:


We would like to thank Mike Simmons for sharing the news with us on behalf of Clémence Fontanive and all co-authors

5) Apply for International Outreach Officer with the IAU OAO

If you are enthusiastic about astronomy outreach, have experience managing international projects and enjoy actively engaging with a global and diverse group of people, join the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team in Tokyo by applying to the International Outreach Officer vacancy. The selection process will begin after 15 July 2021.

Learn more here: https://iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann21032/ 

6) A&A’s retroactive name change policy

There are many legitimate reasons why people may wish to change their name on a journal paper, a trans astronomer who changes their name not being forced to cite themselves by their deadname, to avoid re-traumatising authors after surviving abuse. Referring to someone by their chosen name is basic decency. Several journals are now changing their policies regarding the changing of author names after publication of a paper.
A&A’s Editorial Board is in contact with the Board of Directors of the journal, the authority to change the journal’s policy. Any policy change will be posted in a future editorial. You can read the brief announcement here: https://www.aanda.org/component/content/article/11-news/2194-a-a-s-retroactive-name-change-policy 

We would like to thank Dave Clements for sharing the news with us

7) IAU Astrotourism Workshop | Dark Sky Tourism: An engine for sustainable socio-economic development

Our colleagues at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development’s European Regional Office have recently organized a workshop to show how underserved communities can use Astronomy to improve their socio-economic situation. 

Learn more by checking the recording of the workshop on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcwv1gOj1to 

8) Join our Subgroups
The IAU EC WG on Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion subgroups are subsets of the working group created to focus, both discussions and actions, on the different fields across inclusion. The subgroups Intend to build upon specific networks within IAU and bring in external expertise, with their members steering and informing the WGs global actions.Identify specific needs in the community and draft courses of action and guidelines, aligned with both the IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030 and the Springboard of Action leveraging all dimensions of inclusion on research, outreach, education and development.Are in contact and close collaboration with each other through email, basecamp or online meetings, accessing the intersectionality aspects inherent to the field, avoiding duplication of the efforts carried. We would like to invite all of you to join one or more of the subgroups according to your particular interests and expertise. Further information about the subWGs can be found here.

9) Subscribe to our Basecamp and join the discussion
We have set up a common Basecamp dedicated to all communications. As we understand that not all tools are 100% accessible we want to offer various channels tailored to our different needs. As all the actions carried by the WG, our suggestions are open for discussion and we intend to involve our members as much as possible. Therefore if you identify any tool that would suit you please kindly let us know and we will try to implement it. You can subscribe to our Basecamp by sending a message to Amelia Ortiz-Gil and Lina Canas with the subject: Inclusion WG Basecamp at astro4inclusion [at] oao.iau.org.

10) Share your News!
Reach out to us and share news, activities, articles, resources and events from the astronomy community for inclusion around the world. We are looking forward to reading your contributions! 
Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Astro4Inclusion/