Indigenous Astronomy and its impact on Social and Scientific Change

EDI open lunchtime meeting

Indigenous Astronomy and its impact on Social and Scientific Change

Event details

The study of Indigenous Astronomy in Australia is booming. It is being incorporated in the National Curriculum, it is guiding research in astrophysics, and has been central to new star and asteroid names, films and documentaries, theatre productions, art exhibitions, commemorative coins, public science programs, tourism programs, and dark sky reserves. It is changing the national narrative and guiding public policy. But it is also a highly politicised area, presenting a variety of challenges for researchers, communities and stakeholders in the Indigenous, academic and public space. The work poses a range of critical questions: How does this work impact the history and philosophy of science? How does it lead to new advances in astrophysics? How can Elders, scientists, Indigenous communities, and scholars all benefit by inclusive collaborations? These are important questions that are in a constant state of navigation as we move forward in this space. In this talk, Duane Hamacher will discuss the processes, benefits, and challenges faced in the last 15 years of Indigenous Astronomy scholarship.

Hosted with the School of Social and Political Science

Coffee, tea and cake afterwards  

BIO: Duane Hamacher, PhD, is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Originally from the United States, he earned degrees in physics, astronomy, and Indigenous Studies, with a doctoral thesis on Australian Aboriginal Astronomy. He has spent 15 years working at the intersection of astronomy, culture, history and heritage, particularly in the Torres Strait, an archipelago of islands between mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea. For the next year, he will be a Visiting Fellow at the Kate Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies at the University of Heidelberg in Germany researching meteorite impacts and the end of the world.

About EDI open lunchtime meetings

Physics & Astronomy Equality, Diversity & Inclusion lunchtime meetings - everyone in the School is welcome - both students and staff. Most meetings are at lunchtime. Our aim is to discuss and learn on how to be the best physicists we can be. We host a range of speakers - from our own students and staff to Nobel prize winners - on topics including physics education, outreach, gender & physics, race & physics, decolonising physics, as well as discussing current physics & astronomy research!.

Find out more about EDI open lunchtime meetings.