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Press Conference

Press Conference, 25 November 2008, 10.00 AM Academy of Sciences, Palais de l’Institut, 23, quai de Conti, 75006 Paris - France

Europe is a leader in astronomy today, with the world’s most successful optical observatory and cutting-edge facilities in radio astronomy and in space. In an unprecedentes effort demonstrating the potential of European scientific cooperation, all of European astronomy has now joined forces in projecting the scientific challenges for the future and how to meet them.

Building on an overarching long-term Science Vision, European astronomy has now prepared a comprehensive Infrastructure Roadmap, which lays out a 20-year plan for the necessary large new front-line research facilities, from gamma-rays to gravitational waves, in space and on the ground. Human ressources, EIT infrastructure, and education and outreach are inclued as well.

This planning initiative - ASTRONET - was created by the major European funding agencies with support from the European Commision and is coordinated by the National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy of the CNRS. The conference described the grand plans for the future as well as the delicate task of building consensus on priorities in a very diverse community.

With the participation of:

- Jean Decourt, Permanent Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences, Introduction.
- Jean-Marie Hameury, ASTRONET coordinator, deputy director of the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers at CNRS, What is Astronet?
- Johannes Andersen, ASTRONET Board Chair, Director of the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands, The role of the ASTRONET roadmap.
- Michael Bode, Task Leader for the ASTRONET Roadmap, Head of the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University, The ASTRONET roadmap.

Press Contacts:

- CNRS, Claire Le Poulennec Tel.: 00.33.(0)
- INSU, Philippe Chauvin Tel.: 00.33.(0)

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