Press Release

Astronomy, Radio Sources, and Society: The Wonderful Century

By SpaceRef Editor
May 28, 2013
Filed under ,

Leiden Observatory is hosting the “Astronomy, Radio Sources, and Society: The Wonderful Century” symposium on 10-13 June 2013. The event will bring together some of today’s top research astronomers, science, policy makers, science communicators and educators and members of the media to discuss several topics on astronomy, radio sources and society and celebrate Professor George Miley’s achievements in the different domains of astronomy.

In June 2013 Leidse Schouwburg (Leiden theatre) in the Netherlands will host the “Astronomy, Radio Sources, and Society: The Wonderful Century” symposium. The 4-day event provides an opportunity to celebrate Prof. George Miley’s contributions to astronomy throughout his 50-year career: From his discovery of the most distant object in the universe and his proposal for the new radio telescope, LOFAR, to his directorship of Leiden Observatory in times of changes and his international educational program designed to inspire children with astronomy, Universe Awareness (UNAWE). The Symposium will be split into four sections, covering the vital relations between astronomy, radio sources and society.

The first day is themed “Astronomy and Society” and will cover topics ranging from the successes of big astronomy projects across the world and the lessons learned from them, to the role of astronomy in stimulating social and economical growth. This session will include contributions from Sir Martin Rees, Prof. Bernie Fanaroff, Prof. Ron Ekers, Dr. Peter Tindemans and many others.

The evening of the first day (“Astronomy for a Better World”) will be for a more general audience and focus on the theme how astronomy can be used as a unique tool to help stimulate global development. It will feature a live astronomical-themed musical performance.

The final 3 days of the symposium will deal with the importance of exploding radio galaxies in astronomy and their use as probes of the evolution of the universe. This will feature new results with the Dutch/European radio telescope LOFAR and potential for advances with next generation astronomical facilities.

During the symposium, Universe Awareness will be organizing a EU-UNAWE Teacher Training Workshop for nursery and primary school educators in the afternoon of 11 June, at Museum Boerhaave in Leiden.

Media members (including active bloggers and other social media professionals) are welcome to attend all parts of the event. For media accreditation, requests for interviews and more information please contact Pedro Russo (, +31 71 527 8419).

Pedro Russo
EU Universe Awareness International Project Manager
Leiden University, the Netherlands
+31 71 527 8419, cell: +31 6 54 37 26 58

Marieke Baan
Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie (NOVA)
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
+ 31 20 525 7480, cell: +31 6 14 32 26 27

Prof. Huub Roettgering
Main Symposium Organizer / Leiden Observatory Director
Leiden, the Netherlands
+31 71 527 5851

Symposium webpage:

Leiden Observatory website:

EU Universe Awareness website:

International Astronomical Union Astronomy for Development plan:

Biography of George Miley:

SpaceRef staff editor.