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  • Recent work has questioned whether nature can extract the rotational energy of a black hole via electromagnetic fields. Although we show that the Blandford–Znajek effect is sound, the deeper physics of the electric nature of black holes remains unresolved.

    • David Garofalo
    • Chandra B. Singh
    Comment
  • The question of the possibility of life beyond Earth, as framed by the Drake equation, can be quantified to show that habitable environments for life as we know it are commonplace in the Galaxy.

    • Stephen J. Mojzsis
    Comment
  • Without a proper accounting of known and unknown systematics and uncertainties, combining information across multiple surveys, wavelengths, and detectors may be risky. Realizing the true potential of multi-messenger and panchromatic astrophysics requires getting data integration right.

    • Joshua S. Speagle (沈佳士)
    • Gwendolyn M. Eadie
    Comment
  • Astronomers are used to advocating for (financial) support for their future endeavours, but how should they go about lobbying for support for issues such as the climate emergency? Join forces with those experienced in effecting policy change.

    • Andrew Williams
    Comment
  • Astronomers are trusted voices in the communication of science; our community should resist inundating people with facts and figures but use its advantage to encourage the public to listen to climate change experts and encourage the need for urgent cross-sectoral systemic change.

    • Alison Anderson
    • Gina Maffey
    Comment
  • When do we stop an ongoing science project to make room for something new? Decision-making is a complex process, ranging from budgetary considerations and tension between ongoing projects, to progress assessments and allowance for novel science developments.

    • Ofer Lahav
    • Joseph Silk
    Comment
  • The climate crisis is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening here and now. Astronomers have realized that they need to become part of the solution and are working towards reducing their own carbon footprint as well as communicating an astronomical perspective.

    • Leonard Burtscher
    • Hannah Dalgleish
    • Michelle Willebrands
    Comment
  • The missing baryon problem may now be resolved, but the exact location and physical properties of the diffuse component remains unclear. This problem could be tractable, but requires a combination of new galaxy redshift surveys and new X-ray and radio facilities.

    • Simon Driver
    Comment
  • Identifying the sources of high-energy cosmic neutrinos has been a challenge. Considering frequentist and Bayesian arguments, as well as the special conditions found in neutrino astronomy, we discuss whether to believe current 3σ observations.

    • Marek Kowalski
    Comment
  • That the interstellar object 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) could be an extraterrestrial artefact is an unorthodox hypothesis. From a philosophical perspective, however, the structure of the underlying argument for the hypothesis is flawed.

    • Christopher Cowie
    Comment
  • Astronomy and astrophysics in Vietnam are still in their infancy. Current efforts to stimulate interest in the general public, to foster the teaching of basic knowledge, and to develop research on frontline topics are described.

    • Ngoc Diep Pham
    Comment
  • Exploring the hypothesis that life is present on Mars today is key to informing planetary protection issues at a pivotal time, with the clock ticking to return pristine samples before humans irrevocably alter the environment.

    • Nathalie A. Cabrol
    Comment
  • The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic forced a string of cancelled conferences, causing many organizers to shift meetings online, with mixed success. Seizing the opportunity, a group of researchers came together to rethink how the conference experience and collaboration in general can be improved in a more virtual-centric future.

    • Vanessa A. Moss
    • Matt Adcock
    • Claire E. Trenham
    Comment
  • The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers (PASEA) is an innovative short course for African university students, held by an African-led international collaboration. PASEA aims to build a critical mass of astronomers in Africa and exchange ideas about teaching across continents.

    • Linda Strubbe
    • Bonaventure I. Okere
    • Johnson Urama
    Comment
  • High-performance scientific satellites are currently the exclusive domain of government-funded agencies. The team behind the Twinkle Space Mission is developing a new class of small and sustainable science satellites that leverages recent innovations in the commercial space sector.

    • Richard Archer
    • Marcell Tessenyi
    • Ben Wilcock
    Comment
  • Earth’s exosphere is set to become increasingly crowded, with tens of thousands of commercial telecommunication satellites planned in the next few years. We need to ensure that technological and socio-economic advancements will not imperil scientific progress and humanity’s access to dark skies.

    • Robert Massey
    • Sara Lucatello
    • Piero Benvenuti
    Comment
  • Astronomy research in Malaysia has progressed rapidly in the last few decades, with an increasing number of enthusiastic Malaysian astronomers working together to build new research groups and observing facilities, while establishing research networks both locally and globally.

    • Zamri Zainal Abidin
    • Mhd Fairos Asillam
    • Jun Yi Koay
    Comment
  • Philanthropic donations are a significant contribution to the betterment of humankind, with a large percentage dedicated to science and education. Affordable small satellites may offer philanthropists the opportunity to give students and underprivileged communities access to small space telescopes.

    • Luca Maresi
    • Alessandro Zuccaro Marchi
    Comment
  • The Space Academic Network made a case for a small-satellite programme for the United Kingdom to provide access to space, and a route for advancing science and technology; however, funding has not been forthcoming. The search for a killer argument for this widely supported programme continues.

    • James Endicott
    Comment
  • The determination of the evolutionary stage for a supernova remnant is a demanding task. This guide for radio observers presents a relatively straightforward way to establish the evolutionary phase of newly observed supernova remnants.

    • Dejan Urošević
    Comment