This scientific workshop will explore current understanding of AGN populations, with a particular focus on current and future observational surveys. The primary scientific questions to be addressed are:
1. How can we establish a complete census of black hole growth across cosmic time (including the highest redshift AGN) and what does this tell us about how and when supermassive black holes form and grow?
2. What can multi-wavelength surveys tell us about different physical components of AGN and what implications does this have for a standard/unified model or evolutionary model of AGN?
For example: obscured vs. unobscured AGN; red vs. blue quasars; `radio quiet’ vs. `radio loud’ AGN. This could include understanding the information we need from the different physical components of an AGN (e.g., obscuring torus, narrow line region, broad line region, jets, etc.).
3. What are the properties of the host galaxies of different AGN populations and what does this tell us about how galaxies and AGN influence each other?
4. What are the different data, observational techniques, and analysis methods we need to accelerate progress in answering these questions over the coming decade?
This could include: exploiting SKA and its pathfinders; utilising current and forthcoming large-scale photometric/spectroscopic surveys; placing new constraints on magnetic fields; and applications of machine learning.
The scope of this workshop covers observational and theoretical work across the full wavelength range that tackle these scientific questions.
A parallel objective to the scientific content, is to build research connections between the European and African continents. Towards this, there will be substantial financial support to enable participation from astronomers based in Africa, who might otherwise be unable to attend the workshop. In conjunction with the scientific programme, we will hold dedicated activities before, during, and after the workshop to develop collaboration between the different scientific communities, and provide early career researchers with peer networking opportunities.
We anticipate a strong showcase of work that is of strong interest to both the European and African communities. For example, results from SKA pathfinder telescopes such as LOFAR, e-MERLIN, JVLA, and MeerKAT, in addition to telescopes such SALT in South Africa and H.E.S.S. in Namibia. Whilst the focus is on European-African collaboration, scientists from everywhere are welcome to participate.
The workshop will be limited to around 80 participants. Selection will be based on the quality of abstract submissions for talks or posters, and their alignment to the focus of the meeting. Consideration will also be made to a strong representation from African astronomers, to ensure a balanced view of AGN science across the continents.
Confirmed Invited Speakers
Ryan Hickox, Dartmouth College
Anna Scaife, University of Manchester / Jodrell Bank Centre
Sthabile Kolwa, University of Johannesburg
Marie Korsaga, Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg
Costs and Financial Support
The anticipated conference fee is around £350 (details to be confirmed later).
We have a substantial (but finite) budget to support scientists to attend the meeting, with priority to those coming from Africa, and those who do not have have access to funds. This could cover, up to and including all travel and accommodation costs, plus a fee waiver. Preference for financial support will be given to those most in need, and to early career researchers. Applicants should indicate in their form, the level of financial support they would require to attend the workshop (e.g., travel, accommodation, fee waiver, complete costs, etc.).