Breaking down the barriers to science

CTA would not be possible without the 1,500+ members from 31 countries that work together to implement what will be the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray detector. We are proud of our diversity and aim to be a reference for inclusion and respect in science, as well as to work internationally to achieve equity in our field. Diversity in scientific groups is not only morally fair, but also beneficial for the working environment, increasing creativity and providing different points of view that help to approach and solve problems diversely. Based on this idea, the CTA Observatory (CTAO) has created the Astrodiversity program – an initiative to develop and implement activities organized under the diversity and inclusion framework.


Since its launch in  2019, several Astrodiversity activities have already been organized or are currently being prepared. The pioneering event, Women of CTA, was held in Bologna on 11 February 2019 in honour of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This annual event was created as part of the global effort to raise awareness and find solutions to gender inequality and the overall under-representation of women in science. Additionally, the CTAO recently collaborated with GalileoMobile on the AMANAR: Under the same sky event to bring astronomy to refugee children from Algeria. Future activities will target other under-represented communities, including the hearing and visually impaired. See the activities list below.


Another important aspect of the program is building a global network of astronomy outreach professionals and enthusiasts interested in sharing ideas and collaborating on these important efforts. To this end, we have created a mailing list to connect and inform those interested about Astrodiversity and inclusion-related international activities (including those organized by CTA member institutes and external collaborators). All are welcome to join the mailing list. If you would like to be included or receive more information, send an email to CTAO Outreach and Education Coordinator, Alba Fernández-Barral.

Past and Upcoming Activities

In July 2019, the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) participated in “AMANAR: Under the Same Sky” – an initiative that promotes and supports the scientific education of children living in the Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. The project, selected as a “Special Project” within the IAU’s 100th Anniversary activities, was conceived by GalileoMobile and the Asocicación Canaria de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui (ACAPS) and co-funded by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development. As one of the participating partners, the CTAO supported the organization of activities for children that came to the Canary Islands (Spain) within the “Holidays in Peace” program and is providing educational material for a visit to the refugee camps in October (check full list of all partners here). Read more on our website or in our Newsletter.

On 11 February, on the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science, CTAO hosted the first edition of its “Women of CTA” meeting at the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (Italy). The annual event, is part of a worldwide effort to empower women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), to recognize their achievements and to raise awareness of gender inequality in science, especially in leadership roles. On this occasion, three experienced experts in astrophysics and engineering, who contribute to CTA, joined the panel: Patrizia Caraveo (INAF representative in the CTA Consortium Board and CTAO Council), Emma de Oña Wilhelmi (CTA Science Coordinator) and Chiara Montanari (CTAO Interface Manager). Read more in our Newsletter or on our website.