Scientific Objectives

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) may play a key role in galaxy evolution through a range of feedback processes between the central supermassive black-hole and its surroundings. A wide range of multiwavelength studies have already been carried out on this topic, from the sub-milliparsec scales of the accretion disc, to Megaparsec scales of the hot haloes into which giant radio-galaxies expand. However, there remain many open and unanswered questions that have been discussed widely in the literature, such as: How do radio jets, outflows, and radiative processes interact with their host galaxies and galaxy haloes? How does the fuelling gas reach the innermost region of the AGN? What is the structure and composition of the dusty torus? and many others.

This Symposium is very timely with new facilities recently, or soon, starting operations that may significantly contribute to our understanding of this fascinating topic. Optical integral field unit (IFU) spectroscopy is already available at the VLT, it will soon become available on SALT, and in the future it will be available at the ELT. The IFU data remains a crucial method for the kinematic analyses of gas within and surrounding AGN host-galaxies, allowing us to further understand how they are influenced by their nuclei. In addition, from space, JWST is revolutionising our view of the high-redshift Universe, allowing us to trace less-extreme AGN and galaxies in the reionisation era. The combination of these data with the precursors of the SKA (MeerKAT, ASKAP, and the MWA) will open new avenues in understanding the physical process of radio emission in AGN and how they play a critical role in feedback processes.

Despite variability being a key characteristic of AGN, the mechanisms driving such fluctuations are not entirely understood. We are entering a golden era for time-domain astrophysics, in particular with the forthcoming Vera Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), which will be able to scan the sky with high cadence. This will open up tremendous possibilities for understanding AGN variability. The Symposium will be an ideal occasion to discuss the current state-of-the-art research in this field and plan future exploitation of these new data.

One of the main goals of the Symposium is to bring observational and theoretical astrophysics together to discuss how future observations and simulations could allow us to make significant steps forward in the study of AGN.

Finally, we plan to incorporate a discussion on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in Astronomy during the Symposium, which is pivotal for the whole community because researchers may not commonly set aside time to participate in EDI talks or see the relevance of EDI initiatives.