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SKAO organises session at Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit

Artist's impression of the three SKAO sites showing the SKA-Mid telescope dishes, SKA-Low telescope antennas, SKAO Global HQ, and a backdrop of the Milky Way seen in radio lightSKA Global Headquarters, Jodrell Bank, UK, 14 June 2021 – The SKA Observatory is this week taking part in the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit (14-18 June) with a session entitled “SKAO: Enabling Global Science through Radio Astronomy”.

The session, beginning at 0900 UTC on Wednesday 16 June, will bring together senior figures from the SKAO and its partner institutes to discuss the wide-ranging impact the SKAO will have, and is already having, on science and society. Topics will include the ground-breaking astronomy the SKAO’s telescopes will enable and the stunning results already emerging from its pathfinders and precursors, as well as the how preparations for the SKAO data deluge are driving innovations in machine learning and AI.

Through case studies from partner facilities, speakers will explore the ability of radio astronomy to foster international collaboration, drive new technologies and train new generations to support sustainable development, with a particular focus on Africa. In this time of continued global pandemic, there will also be a discussion of how radio astronomy specialists have turned their skills to other challenges, including the fight against COVID-19.

The programme for the two-hour session is as follows:

  • 09:00 Welcome and introduction – Dr Simon Berry, SKAO Head of the Director-General’s Office
  • 09:05 Science prospects with the SKA, including highlights from SKA pathfinders and precursors – Dr Anna Bonaldi, SKAO Project Scientist
  • 09:20 Case study: EVN as a great scientific tool to strengthen collaboration, train people, develop skills and technologies – Cristina Garcia-Miro, VLBI Support Scientist at Yebes Observatory, Spanish National Astronomical Observatory (OAN/IGN)
  • 09:35 Case study: LOFAR-EUNAME: Bridging Europe with North Africa and the Middle East – A new model of science for capacity building – Dr George Miley, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, Leiden Observatory
  • 09:50 Science Data Challenges: preparing the community for a new era in astronomy – Dr Philippa Hartley, SKAO Postdoctoral Fellow: Radio Astronomy Simulations
  • 10:05 Developing the next generation of data scientists in South Africa – Dr Carolina Ödman Govender, Associate Director of Development and Outreach at the Inter-university Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA)
  • 10:20 Beyond the science: socio-economic impact and sustainability; the SKAO case study – William Garnier, SKAO Director of Communication, Outreach and Education
  • 10:35 From radio astronomy to the fight against Covid-19: case study of the SARAO ventilators – Dr Adrian Tiplady, Deputy Managing Director: Strategy & Partnerships at SARAO
  • 10:50 Questions

The week-long summit aims to enhance science and innovation cooperation between Africa and Europe and build on key policy and programme initiatives to establish a more enabling environment for science and innovation policy co-design, programme cooperation and capacity building. Registration is free via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.be/e/africa-europe-science-and-innovation-summit-14-18-june-registration-156399401821