Astronomy in Culture - Cultures of Astronomy
organized by Susanne M. Hoffmann and Gudrun Wolfschmidt
SOC: dr.dr. Susanne M Hoffmann, Prof. dr. Gurdrun Wolfschmidt, Prof. dr. Gerd Graßhoff
LOC: Markus Hundertmark, Klaus Reinsch and the Vorstand der Astronomischen Gesellschaft
14-16 September 2021
There are many ways and styles of astronomical research: telescopic observations, glass plate archives, evaluating historical star charts, computation and simulation of historical phenomena etc. As there are many different cultures of astronomy, astronomy has a strong impact on human cultures. Creating constellations as a cultural frame of reference as a tool for orientation in space and time is only a first step towards a systematic usage of celestial phenomena in human societies. The selection of outstanding view points for observations, the building of observatories and development of instruments for astronomical observations are further aspects.
In particular, the IAU Division C, Commission C4 "World Heritage & Astronomy" identifies the cultural and astronomical values in a comparative analysis in order to assess the "Outstanding Universal Value" of observatories and archaeoastronomical sites with the aim to be nominated for inscription on the Unesco "World Heritage List" or on the "Outstanding Astronomical Heritage" (OAH) list. It also considers dark sky qualities of modern observatory sites. The IAU Division C Working Group "Star Names" does research on and makes catalogues of proper names for stars for the use by the international astronomical community and also to aid the recognition and preservation of intangible astronomical heritage. Both research associations aim to document, preserve and communicate heritage - material culture (tangible) as well as intellectual (intangible) heritage.
In this splinter, we would like to collect analyses of different habits and activities within the community of astronomers, namely the cultures of astronomy. Focus will be on analysing various data-sets to gain insight into particular "astronomer's cultures" and their influence on the culture of the surrounding society as well as on the astronomical community.
This splinter is dedicated to digital and computational humanities. Please submit only proposals for data-driven and more global studies, e.g. comparisons of more than one culture or whole sets of observatories or instruments of a certain type. This is not a conference for the presentations of one individual building or landscape feature per talk!