COMMUNICATING ASTRONOMY WITH THE PUBLIC AND THE WASHINGTON CHARTER
Communicating astronomy with the public is a rewarding and stimulating experience undertaken by professional astronomers, enthusiastic amateurs, public information officers, planetarium presenters, observatory staff and a whole raft of others. It is widely acknowledged as one of the key topics that engage the public and perhaps even more importantly, the children of today, hopefully stimulating more of them to study science as a career subject. Over the last three years the nature of the topic has changed with the inception of the ‘Washington Charter’(a set of principles for those involved in the work) and the setting up of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group on Communicating Astronomy with the Public. This article describes the origins and evolution of the Washington Charter, the work of the Working Group and the challenges of the future for those working in the field.
KeywordsAstronomical Society Public Outreach Royal Observatory Astronomical Image Astronomical Research
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