Astronomy for development
Relating the study of astronomy to everyday life can sometimes be a struggle, but when modern, high-tech astronomy is encouraged through collaboration or brought to less advanced regions, significant human development can result.
The increase and spread of astronomical activity in Africa is having a significant impact on development, and there are several astronomy-related projects focused on helping African countries achieve some of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For instance, the education, training and sustenance of African school children in partnership with the International Astronomical Union, who are applying the inspiration of astronomy to the classroom, is leading to observable changes in literacy levels. Similarly, a partnership between the UK and several African countries is training recent graduates in radio astronomy skills, so that they will have the expertise to support the operation of the Square Kilometre Array in southern Africa in the 2020s and 2030s.
The editors of Nature Astronomy have compiled a Collection of articles related to astronomy beyond the usual hubs, and in particular the related development initiatives that astronomy is stimulating. You can read the Collection articles here: https://www.nature.com/collections/xtxtmqfrgf
By Paul Woods, Nature Astronomy