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ISSUE 6 - June 2009

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EuroPlaNet Outreach Sessions Through a Lens: Engaging Planetary Scientists in the Communication of Science (pages 08-12)
Marta Entradas & Steve Miller


Although European scientists are active in space sciences and technology, comparatively little effort is being put into communicating space achievements to the public. While the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is well known in Europe, its counterpart, the European Space Agency (ESA), is poorly recognised. The need to seek strategies that will help forge relationships between the research community and European citizens has been recognised by numerous bodies, and initiatives to move public engagement further are, for many, now part of their activities. EuroPlaNet, the European Planetology Network, is an example. Among other activities, EuroPlaNet organises an annual scientific meeting, the European Planetary Science Congress (ESPC), which covers a wide range of planetary and space science topics, and also incorporates outreach sessions where professionals of science communication can discuss and share best practices. This paper will explore the contribution of outreach sessions to strengthening the relationship between science and society. We present here an overview of the sessions during the period 2006–2008, and discuss our views on the value of outreach sessions at scientific conferences.