Astrobus Ethiopia

Cosmologist and data scientist Yabebal Fantaye was awarded the 2018 AFIELD fellowship for his program Astrobus Ethiopia.

Yabebal Fantaye was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is compromised with the idea of making the study of science accessible, specially to young Africans, as he considers that the scientific approach offers the best way to solve real world problems. He has therefore spent the last two years leading an outreach program called Astrobus Ethiopia that includes social scientists, fashion designers, artists, innovators and scientists to deliver holistic stimulation for scientific thinking.

The initiative Astrobus Ethiopia is a mobile science-art-innovation outreach program carried out by driving a vehicle from place to place in different locations in Ethiopia. The program’s ambition is to stimulate critical thinking to enable the country’s social and economic development. Combining exciting activities in astronomy, art and innovation, Astrobus Ethiopia promotes astronomy Education and Public outreach (EPO), and a culture of technological and scientific curiosity, as an opportunity for the public to explore, learn and understand the main elements of modern civilization. These activities include sky watching, public lectures about the universe, galaxy, and the solar system, astronomy experiments. Further, a mentoring system is being developed in an effort to help students connect with professional scientists, artists and innovators and expand the reaching capacity of the program.

Yabebal is currently based at the Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa and is a member of the Planck and Euclid Consortium. He completed his PhD in cosmology at the school for advanced studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy. His research interest includes applying artificial intelligence and advanced statistical methods to cosmological data sets to understand the nature of the universe and to satellite images of the Earth in order to find alternative ways to monitoring African development progress

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cover image: Astrobus