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17 April 2024 - UK Astronomy - Oral evidence

Committee Science, Innovation and Technology Committee
Inquiry UK Astronomy

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Start times: 9:20am (private) 9:30am (public)

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The UK’s sky at night: Committee to hear how amateur astronomers can help advanced sciences 

At the outset of this inquiry the SITC heard how British amateur astronomers have produced some of the best images of space in the world, and in this third session of the Committee’s inquiry on astronomy in the UK we will hear how engaging people with astronomy can bring wide benefits for advanced science, including increasing diversity in the field. The Open University has noted how “innovative use of citizen science projects” is maximising scientific discovery and points to the involvement of citizen scientists to locate the rare carbonaceous chondrite meteorite that fell in the Cotswolds at Winchcombe in 2021. This included the contribution of UK Fireball Alliance—a collaboration of camera networks that aims to record meteors and fireballs and recover freshly fallen meteorites in the UK. 

Meeting details

At 9:30am: Oral evidence
Inquiry UK Astronomy
President at British Astronomical Association
Professor of Astrophysics and Citizen Science Lead at Physics Department, University of Oxford
At 10:15am: Oral evidence
Inquiry UK Astronomy
CEO at National Space Centre
Chancellor at University of Leicester and astronomy educator

Featuring two presenters of The Sky at Night - the BBC’s iconic TV series “exploring space science and the incredible universe all around us” -  the Committee will investigate the role of “citizen science” in UK astronomy, including the role of science communicators, educational outreach and amateur astronomy groups.  

What role can this interest in space and engagement play in increasing diversity and inclusion across astronomy and the wider STEM sector?  


Room 6, Palace of Westminster

How to attend