Co-ordinating European astronomy
The European network for Astronomy and space science has recently been re-launched, funded by a variety of agencies. Astronet aims to act as a forum for strategic issues relating to the European astronomy programme and to foster the implementation of the recommendations arising from the previous EU-funded network.
As well as national agencies, or their delegated representatives, Astronet includes strong links to ESO, ESA and the European Astronomical Society. Work is underway to encourage wider membership so that Astronet truly represents all European interests. It expects to also establish stronger links with APPEC and the various continuing EU programmes – such as Opticon, Radionet, Europlanet etc. Part of its role will be to help feed into the astronomy priorities for future EU programmes, and ESFRI.
Astronet published updates of its original Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmaps in 2014 and 2015 but is just establishing the mechanism to undertake the next full revisions of these planning tools, with a view to publication in 2020. This is a major exercise which we expect to involve an opportunity for the whole community to provide input.