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- Meeting’s Focus: Robust mass measurements of galaxies provide the fundamental ground to test the simulations, theoretical predictions, and alternative explanations of the dark matter phenomenon. Yet, this topic has been little discussed by the community, especially since the development of powerful integral field spectrographs that provide spatially resolved observations of local and distant galaxies in the Universe. We still lack an open discussion that confronts the vital issue of robust galaxy masses associated with dynamical models and dark matter. Therefore, we believe that IAU 2024 general assembly will be a perfect place to discuss the current status of the field and its next ten years. Moreover, we rigorously cover all the relevant areas, observations, experiments, and simulations, as well as contribution of cutting-edge technology (machine learning and data science); see program details. Most importantly, we plan for science dissemination and exploitation, including student career development activities.
- Science accessible to the public: We aim to follow open science practice because general public plays a crucial role in scientific discoveries through funding our research via government taxes. Hence, we decided to provide layman summaries of all the main topics of the meeting and will deliver them to the general public. Officially, Natasha Joseph, Science and Technology Editor for The Conversation Africa, and her team have committed to ‘translating (in English)’ the proposed talks for a general audience and publishing these (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org). Furthermore, we will translate the mentioned general public talks into indigenous languages and publish them in local media (news paper, radio, TV). The SOC takes the responsibility of performing these tasks with the help of their host institutions; all the endorsement letters are attached.
- Career Development Activities: We will organise a ‘student engagement activity’, in which SOC and keynote speakers of our focus meeting will interact with students (undergrad, masters, and PhD) and discuss scientific and non-scientific issues. The main topic of discussion would be (1) science ideas and funding schemes, (2) putting knowledge into action, (3) critical reasoning skills, (4) constructive communication and collaboration, (5) data/information management, and (6) stress and fear management. With this event, South African students will get a top-notch expert view of their daily-life problems. As a community, we know that gathering experts for student discussion, especially bringing them to South Africa, is time and money expensive. However, IAU GA 2024 is making it possible. Therefore, we also plan to maximise the opportunities provided by our focus meeting and pay particular attention to directly benefiting the students. In this way, we hope to make our modest contribution to the bright future of our young minds. The UWC Physics department will fully support this event; endorsement letter is attached.