Rosa Doran receiving the prize. Credit: NUCLIO.

Rosa Doran, president of NUCLIO, Chair of the Galileo Teacher Training Program and executive president of GHOU, received today, August 2 2022, the first edition of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Astronomy Education Prize, at the Opening Ceremony of the IAU XXXI General Assembly (IAUGA2022) in Busan, South Korea.

This is one of three new prizes created by the IAU earlier this year and recognise individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to the fields of astronomy outreach, development and education. The prizes have been created with generous funding from IAU Past President Ewine van Dishoeck.

The 2022 ODE Education Prize was awarded to Rosa Doran for her powerful, inclusive, innovative, inspirational, far-reaching, even transformational astronomy education achievements over more than three decades. She set up, secured funding for, helped coordinate and lead numerous small and large-scale projects which have reached many thousands of teachers and students all over the globe. She is a powerhouse and has become a global leader who wants to change the world through astronomy education.

Rosa Doran was born and started her studies in São Paulo, Brazil, and came to Portugal after completing her degree in Physics, continuing with a Masters in High Energies and Gravitation from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Her passion for astronomy led her to study Black Holes and also to found in Portugal, in 2001, together with a group of astrophysicists and astronomers, NUCLIO, with the initial objective of astronomy dissemination. Early on, NUCLIO turned to education and teacher training, particularly in the field of ​​science, currently bringing innovation and development in education to all parts of the world.

Rosa Doran received a PhD in Science Education from the University of Coimbra and, in addition to being president of NUCLIO, she helped to found and is Chair of the Galileo Teacher Training Program (one of the world’s largest astronomy teacher training networks), she is the President of the Executive Council of the Global Hands-on Universe Association, Chair of the Portuguese Language Office os Astronomy for Development (PLOAD) and vice-president of the Panel of Education of COSPAR (Committee on Space Research), among many other projects.

In the IAU press release on the attribution of these awards, Rosa Doran said: “I always felt connected with the Universe and the urge to know more. At some point in my life, I understood that astronomy can be a strong drive to transform the perception humans have about themselves and their place in the cosmos. This prize is really unexpected, and I feel very honoured and humbled to receive it. I will carry this treasure with me to ensure that my journey has even more impact in inspiring new generations to embrace their power.”

Rosa Doran. Credit: NUCLIO

The ODE prizes were also awarded in the fields of Outreach and Development in astronomy:

  • Astronomy Outreach Prize: Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) — a website created by Robert J. Nemiroff and Jerry T. Bonnell
  • Astronomy Development Prize: Michèle Gerbaldi

The IAU ODE Prizes 2022 Recipients. Credit: IAU.

The next set of ODE prizes will be awarded at the 2024 General Assembly in South Africa.