Learning From The Past as We Continue to Look Skyward

The University of Melbourne is honouring 65, 000 years of astronomy with the first Indigenous Astronomy undergraduate course in Australia.

The world’s first astronomers stared at the heavens and observed the recurring patterns of the Sun, Moon and stars as they traveled across the sky and passed that knowledge across generations through song, dance and oral storytelling. This was in a time before the Greeks and the Babylonians had begun to figure things out themselves.

With this new course, students will learn the knowledge and traditions of contemporary Indigenous cultures around the world, with an emphasis on the people of Australia’s First Nations. They will also look at how astronomical phenomena shaped scientific observation and practice and how that information was passed down through generations.

The unit will be offered under the Physics faculty and has been formulated in conjunction with First Nation Elders and experts including the Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy Dr. Duane Hamacher and will host an impressive list of guest speakers.

The course will be taught either as a blended delivery as well as on-line only for those who can’t attend campus.

This blog entry is part of a new series of supporting content for our Talkin’ Science podcast with Dr Brad Tucker which returns on February 2 for it’s third season.

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