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Raising the Prestige of Public Engagement within the Planetary Science Community in Europe (pages 18-21)
Anita Heward, Thierry Fouchet
Planetary Sciences, Public Engagement, Career Development
We describe the outreach programme of the Europlanet Research Infrastructure (RI), a four-year project funded by the European Union under Framework 7 and designed to maximise planetary science output in Europe. Outreach is a key activity within Europlanet RI and we have put in place a programme to build channels of communication between the planetary science community, the public and the media. One of the major challenges that we have identified is the low value that some parts of the research community place on outreach activities. We describe how we hope to change attitudes and raise the prestige of public engagement in planetary science by establishing an annual prize and a funding scheme. Both schemes are now in their second year, with the third round due to be announced at the EPSC–DPS Joint Meeting in October 2011.