• Hannah Phillips

Star Of Science Appointed Astronomer-At-Large


The Australian Government has appointed eminent astronomer, Professor Fred Watson AM, as Australia’s first Astronomer-at-large

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said Professor Watson would promote Australia’s world-leading astronomy and astrophysics capabilities to audiences here and overseas.


“Professor Watson will use his expertise as a science communicator to inspire and excite young people’s interest in STEM, and encourage all of us to think about our place in the universe,” Minister Andrews said. The Astronomer-at-large position is a public advocacy role and involves a range of duties, including fostering relationships with key stakeholders across government, industry bodies and research communities, and the broader public.

Professor Watson said he was delighted by his appointment.

“I am humbled to be appointed as Astronomer-at-large by Minister Andrews.

“Our country recently signed the Australia - European Southern Observatory (ESO) 10‑year Strategic Partnership that provides Australian astronomers with unprecedented access to world-leading technology.

“Australian astronomers can now use the 8-metre telescopes at ESO’s La Silla and Paranal Observatories in the northern Andes of Chile, which are among the world’s best sites for optical astronomy.

The nation’s domestic capabilities include the 3.9-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory operated by the Australian National University (ANU), and the optical instrumentation expertise centred at Australian Astronomical Optics led by Macquarie University, and supported by the ANU and the University of Sydney.


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