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Looking forward to 2020
Prof. Steve Miller
Image Credit: UCL

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Steve Miller, Chair of the RAS200 steering group at the Royal Astronomical Society, talks about what he hopes will come out of the RAS200 project.

In order to mark the bicentenary of the RAS in 2020, the Society has committed £1 million towards innovative outreach projects, working in partnership with specialist organisations in order to increase the reach of our sciences. Steve Miller has chaired the RAS Steering Group through the two rounds of awards and is looking forward to reaping the rewards as 2020 approaches. Ten groups are working to develop astronomy and geophysics outreach and education projects that  will leave a lasting legacy after 2020, in the arts, music and national culture, as well as among people who have not had the opportunity to experience modern ideas about the world around us. That might be because of difficult family circumstances, interrupted education or just considering these sciences unapproachable. People with caring responsibilities, prisoners and ex-offenders, blind people, people living in deprived urban or rural communities – all these and more will be able to explore aspects of the RAS sciences thanks to the RAS200 projects. And the awards have been given to groups with an eye to developing legacy projects, so that the new tools and methods should become part of their programmes in future. "By 2020, I want us to be able to say that the RAS will still be here in another 200 years time," says Miller, "and that our sciences will be even more relevant, popular and respected than ever before."

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