The International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) has issued an open statement requesting for peace in Ukraine and in the world. The international body of astronomy and astrophysics scientists has issued a statement condemning the military action which they feel will rob thousands of students of access to high-quality education as Ukraine is scheduled to host the next Olympiad.
The 15th IOAA, is scheduled to be held in Kyiv, Ukraine, in August 2022.
The open statement circulated digitally is signed by around 70 members of IOAA from multiple countries. Condemning the military action, the letter states, “Science and education, not weapons and violations of international law, should create a future. As we monitor the situation from outside the region, our thoughts and best wishes are with all past and current Ukrainian members of the IOAA family, including team leaders, observers and students. We sincerely hope that they come out of this situation unharmed and remain in position to welcome the larger IOAA family to their beautiful country in coming months for IOAA 2022 in Kyiv.”
General Secretary of the IOAA, Aniket Sule, who is an astrophysicist and science educator at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, said, “This is the time when countries shortlist their teams, and student members are trained. This current crisis has put this under question. Students from Ukraine are going to be the most affected with the crisis.”
The IOAA works toward enhancing the development of international contacts among different countries in promoting Astronomy and Astrophysics in schools.