We believe that education in general is one of the most important tasks in our society, because this gives the young generation the basis they need to take their responsibility to shape the future. The better we provide that education as teachers or parents, the more hope there is for the future.
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences and since the dawn of civilisation, scholars and lay people alike have been looking up to the night sky in bewilderment and fascination. Modern Astronomy is developing very rapidly as a result of the billions of dollars that are annually invested in research worldwide. Practically every month major developments are reported. Besides, it is hard to find anyone who does not have a basic interest in the night sky or would not like to know more about the background of all that research that is going on.
Various countries report a recent decline in interest among students for the technical sciences (e.g. US ref1, UK ref2, AU ref3 ) and some statistics are quite alarming. Our view is that Astronomy is an excellent vehicle to promote those sciences at school and in the home, because modern research in Astronomy is based on practically all those technical sciences like physics, chemistry, biology and also on mathematics. High school curricula in particular should, in our view, contain a significant component of Astronomy with the aim to provide a basis of scientific interest among today’s students.