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Communicating Science

A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach
Sunday evening, August 5, through Wednesday evening, August 8

Conference Overview

Everyone working in EPO and science communication in astronomy, earth and space science, and related fields, is invited to consider how best to share the results of our work with each other and the public, how to improve our practice, and how to make connections across science disciplines. Much of the conference will be in the format of hands-on sessions, where we will practice effective techniques for sharing and discussing our work. Poster papers, panels, special interest group discussions, professional development sessions, short ten-minute oral reports and plenary presentations will also be part of the program.

There will also be special events, including a Sunday evening welcoming reception (complete with coverage of the Curiosity landing on Mars, if all goes well), a public lecture on Monday evening, the Tuesday evening awards banquet, a closing reception on Wednesday, morning and afternoon breaks, and time for networking.  An educator’s workshop will be conducted over the preceding weekend.  And several field trips are likely to be offered fore and aft of the conference, at separate fees to cover trip expenses. Check back for more details.

Conference participants will include scientists, NASA- and NSF-funded EPO program professionals, K-12 teachers, university educators, informal educators (from museums, planetariums, parks and other venues), public communicators, web masters, bloggers, science writers, and other EPO professionals.

Click here for instructions to register for the Communicating Science EPO National conference.

Submitting an Abstract

The Communicating Science EPO conference program committee welcomes four kinds of abstracts:

a. Poster Papers. These can discuss educational research, evaluation results, innovative EPO ideas, new media strategies, or other projects, programs, initiatives, results and lessons learned.

b. Ten-minute Oral Presentations. Likewise, these can discuss educational research, evaluation results, innovative EPO ideas, new media strategies, etc. -- but in a tight eight-minute presentation focusing on announcements, key points, and references for further investigation. Two minutes should be saved for Q&A with the audience.

c. Hands-on Workshops/Sessions of One-hour Duration. These sessions should showcase techniques, approaches or materials that impact significantly on our EPO audiences. We expect more workshop proposals than we have time, so try to make your proposal as useful and hands-on as possible. Including colleagues from other institutions is always a plus. The program committee much prefers sessions that are participatory and allow attendees to learn new skills.

d. Special Interest Group (SIG) Discussions of One-hour Duration. These bring together EPO conference participants with a common interest, for discussion under the leadership of a facilitator. Groups might focus on specific EPO audiences (e.g. afterschool programs), communication strategies (e.g. new media), challenges (e.g. collecting evaluation data), or science content areas (e.g. climate change). We encourage you to nominate one or more facilitators when you propose such a session.

Click here for instructions and a form to submit an abstract.

The Communicating Science program committee is arranging plenary speakers or panels to complement the above sessions. Also, the program committee is setting up concurrent special sessions, in one-hour workshop and/or discussion formats, to tackle “hot topics” with greater opportunity for audience participation. Suggestions on plenary and special sessions can be brought to the attention of program committee members by emailing Greg Schultz at: gschultz {at}


For the EPO conference, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific will publish formal proceedings to provide a written overview and summary of the papers and sessions, and serve as a reference for education and outreach practitioners. It also provides an opportunity for presenters to publish their work. All registered participants will receive a copy. For details, including how to submit your papers and presentations and the deadlines, go to the proceedings page. Questions about the conference volume can be addressed to: 2012proceedings {at}

“The Hubble Roadshow"
Wednesday, August 8 at 7 pm

A public event featuring a special screening of the new independent documentary Saving Hubble. (Grand Ballroom Salon E)


Any questions? Please direct them to: 2012meeting {at}



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