There are more stars in the universe than all the grains of desert sand on Earth


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Nov 17, 2010

I've Moved to Astronomy Communication and Outreach on Wordpress!

I trained as a Communicator and Public Relations Consultant during the day, while I enjoyed astronomy and observing the sky during the night. At some point, I’ve started combining the both and the result was astronomy communication or better said outreach. Taking communication ideas, concepts and practices and shape them to bring astronomy closer to people fascinates me. My new blog Astronomy Communication and Outreach on Wordpress is an attempt to share that fascination with you.

Whether you are a communicator, a science writer, a public information officer, an amateur astronomer or enthusiast willing to share your passion, I’m hoping you will find on this blog some ideas on how to interact more closely with the public and inspire people to look up to the sky. I also hope the posts to be an incentive for idea exchanges on how we can better communicate astronomy with the public.
Check it out!

Sep 9, 2010

Three steps to reach your target in astronomy communication and outreach

Tuesday, at the IYA2009 session from JENAM 2010, I had to deliver a presentation on the activities done in 2009 by the Astroclub Bucharest. Since I didn't want it to be just another description of activities with nice pictures, I decided to build a case for non-traditional ways of doing outreach.

This seemed like an easy and cool thing to do until I realised my talk was coming after several ones on mentoring and finding role models for teenagers/students today, while I was presenting a poster with top models next to telescopes(!). But then I realised...I just had to set a different challenge: instead of looking for role models, how about we use the existing "bad" ones for doing outreach and education?

The presentation doesn't really speak for itself as it had a lot of speech wrapped around, but I'll try to give you an executive summary :) and I'd love to answer questions or comments.

Once you know who you are and what's you want to achieve by communicating astronomy, there are three steps you have to take, in this order:

1. Research your target and find key insights about its lifestyle: where they go out, what they read, where they go on holidays etc. This will tell you where you will find them without the slightest effort of bringing them there. This may mean you'll have to take your scope out to a square with street art or make a projection of a planet in a drive-in cinema.

2. Choose the right channel - that is the channel they use, not the one that you use. Have you ever considered teenage magazines? Nobody reads the school magazine...

3. Speak their language if you want them to listen and understand. How about you get updated on some of the jargon out there?

More details here...