“ASEAN WAY” does not go in vain up on the constellations: 8th SEAAN Meeting dignified in the heart of Vietnam.

Vietnam National Satellite Center

Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

12 – 13 December 2016

Given bestowed integration of the ASEAN Community, the 8th Southeast Asia Astronomy Network Meeting aka SEAAN 2016 took place in Vietnam this year, enhanced its maximum capacity of regional cooperation in astronomy towards sustainable development.

 

        Co-hosted by the Vietnam National Satellite Center – VNSC and National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) – NARIT, the annual SEAAN galvanized top research astronomers, post-graduates and related experts across the globe to resume the existing collaborations, commencing upcoming projects and the possibilities of such for the first time in the Vietnamese Heart of Hanoi. Present in the event was of course, VNSC Director – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, who chaired this year’s Local Organizing Committee, NARIT Director – Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, who presented the 2016 SEAAN Overall Activities Report and Deputy Director – Dr. Saran Poshyachinda, acquired Thailand Country Report and Infrastructures.

 

 

        Commencing with the Business Meeting of the Scientific Organizing Committee, comprising of 11 national representatives across ASEAN, each nation state was given an open floor to update on progress made in its recent research works, collaborations and future plans. The SEAAN Charter is also on its way to being adopted by the Committee as a blueprint for fellow member colleagues, while the approval on SEAAN – SCOSA bilateral collaboration has been officially endorsed during this year’s ASEAN COST (Committee on Science and Technology) Meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It is thus proposed that the Agreement between the two parties shall be inked in the near future.

 

 

        Out of three invited talks and 15 contributed talks, Vietnam as a host country introduced an exclusive invited talk from Prof. Dinh Van Trung of the Institute of Physics, USTH on “Binary companion and the shaping of envelop around evolved stars”. The other two invited talks are from Ms. Lina Canas from the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach on the inclusive entitled “Astronomy for Everyone”, while Dr. Kevin Govender – IAU OAD Director joined in the meeting via teleconference on his dedicated “Astronomy for development: Global structures and impact”, to tackle main challenges in Southeast Asia, and ultimately encourage everyone to strive towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals through different aspects of astronomy and natural sciences per se.

 

 

        The second day of SEAAN was dedicated for the latter two sessions of selected contributed talks from numerous fields of expertise from ASEAN and beyond, despite of the cultural backgrounds and disparities. Vietnamese homegrown, Dr. Pham Tuan Anh from VNSC presented his work on the “Study of the gas and dust components of high redshift galaxies”, Indonesian Dr. Hakim L. Malasan – SEAAN SOC and Secretariat on “ITERA Astronomical Observatory – Earth and Space Sciences Education Center in Sumatera, NARIT Public Outreach Officer – Mr. Pisit Nitiyanant on the “Vital Role of Astronomical Public Outreach towards Regional Development in Thailand and Beyond”, Malaysian Dr. Azni Abdul Aziz from International Islamic University Malaysia on “Thermonuclear reaction rate for some reactions involved in p-p chain”, a Korean visiting scholar at NARIT – Dr. Young Chol Minh from KASI was giving his talk on “International Collaborations of Radio Astronomy Projects in the East Asian Area” and Dr. Xiao Zhou from our Chinese counterpart – YNAO was present to deliver a talk on “The Observation and Investigation on AF-type Contact Binary”.

 

 

        These extensive networks of cooperation within Southeast Asia itself and beyond, the three East Asian countries in particular, are at their best efforts to foster the well-established foundation in astronomy education and research in order to play more significant roles in shaping the global development of various aspects, given human capacity building and accessible infrastructures the priority. At this point, it would be safe to rest assure that – since SEAAN’s first establishment back in 2007, we’ve accomplished a great deal of constructive progress on the international platform of astronomy, shifting the connotation of so-called “ASEAN WAY” that we are actually going somewhere. Not to mention that the University of Mandalay in Myanmar is most likely taking up the role of a host country for SEAAN 2017.