Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1922, the first general assembly of the International Astronomical Union was held in Rome (Iau), a company founded three years earlier in Brussels to foster cooperation between astronomers from all over the world after the tragic experience of the First World War. Today, after an intense phase of selection of the candidate cities to host the IAU general assembly in 2027, the victory of Italy and Rome, which will be the venue for the event in five years, was announced. The announcement was made in Busan, South Korea, during the closing ceremony of the 31st edition of the meeting. The Italian proposal got the better of two other competing proposals, presented by Montreal and Tel Aviv.
The Rome proposal was presented by the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), together with Symposia srl of Rome, leader of the Bidding Committee in partnership with Convention Bureau Italia and Roma & Lazio Convention Bureau. The support of Roma Capitale is important, with the participation of the mayor Roberto Gualtieri, of the Lazio Region, as well as the scientific institutions of the capital such as the Vatican Observatory, the Accademia dei Lincei, the three Roman universities, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Italian Space Agency.
Thanks to this prestigious victory and the commitment of the parties involved, Rome will be the wonderful setting that will see the participation of about three thousand researchers from all over the world in 2027.
“Italy is one of the founding countries of the Iau and boasts a vast national astronomical community, very active and firmly integrated within the international one through multiple collaborations and cutting-edge projects”, declared the president of INAF. Marco Tavani. «We are thrilled to be able to host the Iau 2027 General Assembly in the capital, a choice that testifies to the value of Italian astrophysics and that will allow the world astronomical community to know even better the research activities and initiatives in our country. It will also be a unique opportunity to demonstrate the proximity of frontier science to the borders of the universe, such as astrophysics, to the lives of citizens and to our society ”.
The Iau, with 84 member countries and over 11,000 individual members, is the largest Society of Professional Astronomers in the world. The IAU General Assembly is held every three years and all for two weeks, thousands of astronomers from the planet to discuss the pivotal topics of contemporary astronomy and astrophysics and evaluate progress in a range of specialized scientific research areas. The meeting, during which the offices, commissions and divisions of the Iau also meet to formalize their collegial activities, is also accompanied by a series of events dedicated to the public.
In addition to the first edition of the meeting, Rome also hosted the eighth general assembly of the Iau in 1952. The 31st edition, originally scheduled for 2021 and postponed to this year due to the pandemic, has just ended. The 32nd IAU General Assembly will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2024.