Results of BRICS Astronomy Workshop 2016: Astronomical Data and Computation; second meeting of BRICS Astronomy Working Group

Top Quote During September 5-8 the BRICS Astronomy Workshop and meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group were held at Russia's Ural Federal University. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 27, 2016 - The inaugural meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group, consisting of senior officials and experts from the governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, was held in Cape Town on December 12, 2015. One of the key resolutions of the Working Group was the decision to hold the annual Working Group meetings back-to-back with scientific workshops, which will provide a platform for BRICS member countries to engage on policy issues and other matters related to research, development and practice in astronomy, and to explore mechanisms for promoting BRICS cooperation in astronomy.

    The second BRICS Astronomy Workshop was held September 5-7, 2016, at Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg, Russia, on the topic of Astronomical Data and Computation. Talks at the workshop were split among six sessions: 1) Modeling and analysis, 2) Data exchange and presentation, 3) Big Data on the national scale, 4) Databases for astrophysics, 5) Data logistics, 6) Computation and algorithms. The international scientific organizing committee invited Prof. Rosa Reinaldo (Brazil), Prof. Nikolay Samus (Russia), Prof. Harinder P. Singh (India), Prof. Liang Gao (China) and Prof. Russ Taylor (South Africa) as key speakers. Additionally, leading specialists from the BRICS countries in numerical techniques, modeling and analysis of constantly growing volumes of data took part in the workshop. Scientists from the BRICS countries contributed a total of 23 talks; among the participants from Russia were scientists and engineers from universities, research institutions, and also the IT sector. The full list of speakers, along with presentations and recordings of the talks, are available at the website of the workshop (

    At the closing of the workshop, a roundtable discussion was held about possibilities for collaboration in astronomy among the BRICS countries. During this event, representatives from Ural Federal University gave a presentation about international programs within the university for international students, graduate students and employees. Also, the topic of development of astronomical instrumentation was proposed as a possible theme for the next annual BRICS Astronomy Workshop.

    Following the Workshop, on September 8, the BRICS Astronomy Working Group held its second meeting, with participation from ministerial officials and/or their representatives, as well as expert support groups from the BRICS countries. Each country presented high-level reports on the latest developments in astronomy and plans for the next three years. Mechanisms for promoting cooperation among the BRICS countries in astronomy were discussed, including a draft framework for expanding joint scientific and technological efforts in the field. The participants of the Working Group proposed to develop a roadmap for fostering collaboration in astronomy, which could include, as possible directions, summer schools for students and young scientists, conferences and workshops, simplified access to observing facilities and observational data, and the creation of a common base of resources for research. It is planned to jointly develop this roadmap over the course of the next year, and present it at the next annual meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group.

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