Astronomers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) joined a historic Australia-China Commonwealth Roundtable on Astronomy at the Shanghai Expo on Monday 2 August 2010.
Leading ICRAR scientists, Professor Steven Tingay and Professor Lister Staveley-Smith formed part of the Australian delegation of astronomers who met with Chinese colleagues to cultivate productive, long-term relationships between Australian and Chinese astronomers, institutions and academies, in all areas of astronomy.
The meeting, chaired by Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Penny Sackett was hosted at the Australian Pavilion and attended by Deputy Secretary for the Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research, Patricia Kelly.
The themes discussed at the meeting included the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and SKA Pathfinders, current and future collaborations in Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Antarctic astronomy and large optical spectroscopic surveys. ICRAR’s researchers attended the meeting to promote links with Chinese colleagues in the areas of radio astronomy and high performance computing.
An overarching discussion included developments in technologies that support astronomy, and a call for policy discussion on information sharing regarding infrastructure and data collection and archiving.
Professor Madam Ye – former Director of the Shanghai Observatory – called for greater cooperation and for the Australian astronomers to continue to ‘come back’ to China to strengthen the good will and collaboration established yesterday but to also build on current partnerships.
An equal joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia, ICRAR is engaging the global communities of science and industry to deliver the best possible SKA.
The Commonwealth Roundtable on Astronomy is the first of seven such meetings to be organised by the University of Sydney – a Gold Sponsor of the Australian Pavilion at Shanghai Expo.