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RAS grants and awards support conferences, whether promoting outreach or enhancing international collaboration.
In the case of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Dark Energy Survey Collaboration, an RAS grant supported early career researchers in the UK attending one of their twice-yearly meetings. The LSST-DESC meeting was held outside the US for the first time, in Oxford in summer 2016. The RAS grant helped to buld capacity in the UK to make the most of the rich research harvest expected from the LSST.
Pedro Ferreira of the University of Oxford was awarded funding for seven UK early-career researchers in the field to attend the Collaboration meeting, in full, including the Hack Day, social events and the Dark Energy School, a one-day active learning course on LSST and its applications in cosmology. They also benefitted from the events and activities arranged for new members of the collaboration, from the UK and across Europe. The Dark Energy School had the largest attendance to date at a Collaboration meeting, and some of the RAS award was used to support filming the activities, to become a resource for the collaboration. "The videos will be made available though the LSST-DESC YouTube channel, which is publicly accessible," according to Ferreira. "We expect this will be a valuable resource for the LSST:UK community in order to encourage their participation in the project."
The RAS also supports conferences with an outreach theme. "The History of the Moon", a one-day conference also in Oxford, linking workers in the scientific, historical and cultural significance of the Moon, attracted workers from diverse disciplines, notably interdisciplinary researchers, and members of the public, who heard about the Moon in legend and culture, tides and even the requirements of a Moon village as a stepping-stone to the stars. Again, the talks presented at this meeting, which took place in 2016, are available on-line.
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