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Europlanet Outreach Newsletter #21 - Spring 2018

Welcome to this spring edition of the Europlanet outreach newsletter! Join us in Athens for a best practice workshop on using evaluation tools to measure the impact of your outreach activities. Don't forget to submit an abstract by 16th May for outreach sessions at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Berlin from 16-21 September, or to register by 31st May for the Europlanet Summer School 2018, which combines ground-based observations with science communication training. We announce our latest animated video, Space Detectives, and an open call of the Europlanet expert exchange programme aimed at journalists and science communicators. We report on Europlanet's Dinner Debate in the European Parliament, our session on "Making the Case for Astronomy" at EWASS, and outreach discussions at the Mars Sample Return Conference in Berlin. News from partners includes a concert of works by William Herschel at the Théâtre de Liège, with a scientific commentary by 2012 Europlanet prize winner, Yaël Nazé, of the University of Liège.

If you would like to share your news, resources, events, or any other outreach-related information with the group in the next newsletter, please email us!

Updates from Europlanet Outreach

Touching the Planets, Evaluating Excellence - Europlanet Outreach Workshop

Registration is now open for the Europlanet outreach workshop: “Touching the Planets, Evaluating Excellence”, which will be held in Athens on July 2-3, 2018. This year, the workshop will target primarily (but not exclusively) an audience of amateur astronomers and will focus on evaluation of outreach activities.

For more details and to register, see:

The deadline for registration is Monday 4th June.

Space Detectives

Europlanet’s latest animated video, “Space Detectives – the case of the rocks from Space” was premiered at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) on Thursday, 12th April. The video, designed in a film noir style by the award-winning Science Office, is a creative look at how planetary scientists investigate meteorites and samples returned by missions to find out more about our Solar System and its origins, and how techniques developed to analyse planetary samples are used by the police to solve crimes and identify bodies.

Europlanet Dinner Debate – Planetary exploration inspiring European innovation 

On 24th April 2018, Europlanet organised a dinner debate in the European Parliament. The event was hosted by Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP and attended by Clare Moody MEP, Flavio Zanonato MEP, representatives of Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, European space industry and the European planetary science community.

The topic for the evening was "Planetary exploration inspiring European innovation" and, with decisions being made on the EU's next Multiannual Financial Framework Programme this month, it was an important opportunity to discuss the ways in which EU funding has supported Europe's planetary science community. Discussions were kickstarted by inspiring presentations by Prof Lena Noack (Freie Universität Berlin), Kartik Kumar (Austrian Space Forum, analogue astronaut, Co‐founder & CEO and Dr Marcell Tessenyi (Europlanet 2020 RI Industry Officer, CEO Blue Skies Space Ltd). Many thanks to everyone that attended. More details

Making the Case for Astronomy at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science

At EWASS 2018, held jointly in Liverpool this April with the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting, we co-convened a session on “Making the Case for Astronomy”. The session was led by a panel of speakers with different perspectives on the dialogue between the astronomy community, policy makers and the public: Terry O'Connor of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Nathalie Meusy of ESA and Clare Moody MEP. The panel was chaired by Mike Bode of the European Astronomical Society.

For a report on the session, including the slides from the speakers, see:

Expert Exchange Programme - Open Call until December 2018

Following a successful pilot of outreach-focused expert exchanges over the last few months, Europlanet has issued an open call for the expert exchange programme to invite journalists, science communicators or lecturers in journalism to spend a few days (maximum one week) in a Europlanet 2020 RI laboratory. Participants will be able to find out more about planetary science, how science is carried out and the life of scientists, with the aim of also helping scientists to understand how the media works and the world of journalism. 

Lukasz Lamza, editor and author of the Polish magazine “Tygodnik Powszechny”, visited Europlanet facilities in the UK in January 2018. You can read about his experiences here.

Application can be submitted any time until 31st December 2018 and the visits must take place before 30th April 2019.

2nd Mars Sample Return Conference

The Second Mars Sample Return Conference was held in Berlin on 25-27th April. The final day included a session on planning an international outreach strategy for Mars Sample Return. You can download slides from Sheri Klug Boonstra and Anita Heward, who led the discussion, and see Mentimeter results from the Q&A. We hope that these discussions will be followed up at EPSC in September.

 Europlanet Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2018

European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2018 will be held in Berlin from 16-21 September. The call for abstracts closes on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 (13:00 CEST).

Seven sessions have been proposed for the outreach, education and policy stream:

Please submit your abstracts and pass on details to any of your colleagues that might be interested. We look forward to seeing you in Berlin! (Note: Book your accommodation early - it's a very busy week in Berlin)

 Europlanet Summer School 2018

The Europlanet Summer School 2018 at the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory, Lithuania, aims to equip early career researchers and amateur astronomers with skills in observational astronomy and in science communication. Students received practical training on making spectroscopic observations of the chemical composition of stars and photometric detections of stellar variability and exoplanet transits. Afternoon sessions included a wide range of science communication training. Find out more and register by 31st May!

Updates from Partners
Concert with commentary: “William Herschel – the Astronomer Composer”

A special concert of works by the astronomer and composer, William Herschel, will be performed on 14th May at the Théâtre de Liège by the Chamber Orchestra of Liège, with scientific commentaries by astrophysicist, Yaël Nazé. 

William Herschel was the discoverer of Uranus and, along with his sister Caroline, the author of several catalogues of double stars and nebulae. He was also a professional musician and is responsible for some 40 works, mainly composed during 1759 and 1770.  The event is organised in partnership with the Société Libre d’Émulation and is part of the "Musique et astronomie" cycle organised to celebrate the Bicentenary of the University of Liège.

Book your ticket now:

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