Communicating Astronomy with the Public Lars Lindberg Christensen ([email protected]) Pedro Russo ([email protected]) IAU Commission 55 Team; IAU/C55 - Journal Working Group Team www.communcatingastronomy.org Communicating Astronomy with the Public Astronomy As a tool to communicate science, astronomy possesses almost magical powers. It touches on the largest philosophical questions of the human race: Where do we come from? Where will we end? How did life arise? Is there life elsewhere in the
Universe? Space is one of the greatest adventures in the history of mankind: an all-action, violent arena with exotic phenomena that are counter-intuitive, spectacular, mystifying, intriguing and fascinating. The science of astronomy is extremely fast moving, and delivers new results on a daily basis. In many ways astronomy can lead the way for other natural sciences and be a frontrunner for the communication of science in general. IAU C55: Communicating Astronomy with the Public It is the responsibility of every practicing astronomer to play some role in explaining the interest and value of science to our real employers, the taxpayers of the world. Mission Statement
To encourage and enable a much larger fraction of the astronomical community to take an active role in explaining what we do (and why) to our fellow citizens. To act as an international, impartial coordinating entity that furthers the recognition of outreach and public communication on all levels in astronomy. To encourage international collaborations on outreach and public communication. To endorse standards, best practices and requirements for public communication. => Community-building! IAU C55: Communicating Astronomy with the Public Commission Members President: Ian E. Robson (UK) Vice President: Dennis Crabtree (Chile) Secretary: Lars Lindberg Christensen (ESO/ESA)
Organising Committee: Richard T. Fienberg (USA) Anne Green (Australia) Ajit K. Kembhavi (India) Birgitta Nordstrm (Denmark) Augusto Damineli Neto (Brazil) Oscar Alvarez-Pomares (Cuba) Kazuhiro Sekiguchi (Japan) Patricia A. Whitelock (South Africa) Jin Zhu (China) IAU C55 CAP: Working Groups Washington Charter VAMP Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project
Best practices Communicating Astronomy with the Public conferences Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Washington Charter Chair: Dennis Crabtree (Chile) VAMP - Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project Adrienne J. Gauthier (Chair) Lars Lindberg Christensen Robert Hurt Ryan Wyatt In a quickly moving connected world, public astronomy communication must develop to
follow the pace of the other players in the electronic information mass market (gaming, entertainment industries etc.) The greater problem today is not so much the availability of excellent astronomy multimedia resources for use in education, outreach etc., but rather the access to these materials. The public needs better access to images, videos of stars, galaxies or astronomical phenomena. VAMP - Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project Even for an expert user, locating a particular image invariably requires going to a known resource or relying on the existing highly imprecise multimedia search engines, such as for instance Google images or YouTube. The Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project (VAMP) will enable access to, and vastly
multiply the use of, astronomy multimedia resources images, illustrations, animations, movies, podcasts, vodcasts etc. VAMP will enable innovative future exploitation of all kinds of outreach media by systematically linking resource archives worldwide. The primary deliverable of VAMP would be a digital library/repository system that stores, organizes, and delivers standardized metadata for all Education and Public Outreach (EPO) media for astronomy and planetary sciences. Best practices Discuss the best practices in communicating astronomy with the public. Possible topics Media training for scientists. Code of Conduct for press releases. Members
Lars Lindberg Christensen (ESA/Hubble, chair) Bruce Etherington (SETPOINT Wales) Ken Brandt (Robeson Planetarium and Science Center) Dave Buttery (Auriga Astronomy) Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2005 ESO HQ, Garching, Munich, Germany 14-17 June 2005 Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2007 Athens, Greece, 8 - 11 October 2007 Goals To prepare for International Year of Astronomy 2009. To make public astronomical knowledge global and accessible
to everyone, adapting communication methods to cross national, political, social and cultural borders and impairment limitations. To promote international collaboration. To evaluate current tools and methods and prepare for future developments. Key Topics Case Studies and hands-on demonstrations Communication in the YouTube/MySpace/vodcasting mediascape Audiovisual, multimedia & online tools Social impact and evaluation of astronomy communication Education and communication tools for the visually impaired Prospects of IAU Commission 55 Communicating Astronomy with the Public
Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Working Group Members Lars Lindberg Christensen (ESA/Hubble, DE) Rick Fienberg (Sky & Telescope, USA) Andrew Fraknoi (Department of Astronomy, Foothill College, USA) Richard de Grijs (Sheffield University, UK) Andr Heck (Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, FR) Terry Mahoney (Instituto de Astrofsica de Canarias, ES) Steve Miller (University College London, UK) Paul Murdin (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK) Pedro Russo (IAU/IYA/ESA/Hubble) Sidney Wolff (National Optical Astronomy Observatory, USA)
Why a Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal ? From the Washington Charter: Develop infrastructures and linkages to assist with the organization and dissemination of outreach results. Promote professional respect and recognition of public outreach and communication. Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Publishing in in the Global Marketplace The publishing business is changing rapidly in these years as a consequence of: The intense globalization that takes place The overwhelming popularity of the Internet Business changes
Larger scale: larger publishers, larger customer consortia Cost-savings are possible Marketing is turned upside-down: Pull instead of push (Googlability..) Customer behaviour changes The need for products On-Demand, i.e. when they want, about what they want and in the format they want. Timing becoming the major issue!! Push for wider, or even open, access Need for more ethical publication models (developing nations..) Need for more added-value products along with the traditional product Need for more user involvement in the publication process (ranking, online discussions, community peer-reviewing ..): Crowd-sourcing! More articles are published and read (increasing costs and workload)
Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Publishing standards Standardisation! From 2D prints to 3D publications: enhanced articles (multimedia, advanced interlinkage etc.) The production is moving closer to the customer Less focus on printed products, more on Print-On-Demand (lower production costs, more flexibility, faster ..) However one principle stands: The peer-reviewing process continues to provide the stamp of quality of scholarly articles and must be preserved Strains on the Producer Publisher Consumer relationships as a result of the contrast between the rapid global technological change and the less rapid change in publishing strategies.
Time to catch up? ;-) Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Objectives To: Document and disperse knowledge: Teach and Train Provide a basis for discussions Compel further progress Establish priorities in the field Further careers (through documentation of the excellence of the individual) Help to avoid the duplication of effort The journal should publish works and projects in the diverse areas of astronomy communication, in a scientific journal format and with open access.
As an example we expect that the journal will prove very important for public communication around events such as the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The CAP journal can serve as a repository of ideas, projects, activities, exhibitions and other key topics for the National Nodes of the IYA2009. Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Education (e.g.: R - Astronomy Education Review) Public communication (e.g.: CAP journal) (Christensen 2006)
Objectives and Scope Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Key Topics Best practices Case Studies/What works and what doesn't High-tech communication New technologies The Web as a Science Communication Tool Communication in the Virtual Observatory era Archives of communication products Investigating real astronomical data Technical standards
The shock of images Art and science, or can a multidisciplinary approach help outreach? Audiovisuals and multimedia Sociological issues Communication ethics Science fiction and science Scientific lobbying Globalization and Science Communication Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Key Topics Public Understanding of Science Surveys of public understanding and attitudes towards science and technology Perceptions of science
Popular representations of science Scientific and para-scientific belief systems History of science education and of popular science Science in developing countries and appropriate technology Media Science and the media Informal education Evaluative studies of science exhibitions and interactive science centres Planetariums and Science Centres: Economics and Ethics Playing with Astronomy/ hands-on experiments Planetariums and science centres, a key tool for education and outreach Miscellaneous Multilingual outreach products Events, e.g. International Year of Astronomy 2009
Book reviews Web page reviews Job announcements Other announcements Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Target Audience Public information officers Astronomy community Planetarium and science centers community Astronomy educators and communicators Science communication researchers University students University professors
Teachers Amateur astronomers History of science researchers Science philosophers Science sociologists, etc. Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Journal Features Modern magazine style (due to the audience and scope). 4 times per year Size: 16-32 pages Full colour Seven main sections:
News Announcements Letters to the Editor Reviews Research & Applications Resources Innovations The section Research and Applications will contain peer-reviewed science articles Advanced web presence Readable version of the journal Online forum: Commenting, discussing, evaluating articles, news, products
Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal www.communicatingastronomy.org History Organization Supporters Working Groups Meetings Job Bank IYA2009
Training Calendar Links The International Year of Astronomy 2009 Goals Increase scientific awareness. Promote widespread access to new knowledge and observing experiences. Empower astronomical communities in developing countries. Support and improve formal and informal science education. Provide a modern image of science and scientists. Facilitate new networks and strengthen existing ones. Improve the gender-balanced representation of scientists at all
levels and promote greater involvement by underrepresented minorities in scientific and engineering careers. Facilitate the preservation and protection of the worlds cultural and natural heritage of dark skies and historical astronomical sites. www.astronomy2009.org EPN IYA2009 Open Forum: Today 15:50
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