From 16 to 20 May 2016 Colombia will host the 2016 Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP2016) conference in the city of Medellín. Professional communicators, research astronomers, press officers, science journalists and facilitators engaging different audiences with science and technology will be exchanging views and experiences during the five-day conference on the latest challenges in astronomy communication and public outreach.
The 2016 conference will have a different format from previous CAP conferences, changing the focus to a more practical approach. The Scientific Organising Committee will be looking for hands-on activities, studies and resources that the presenters can offer to the audience. Plenary talks will be combined with workshops in order to give participants the chance to learn new skills that they can then apply in their daily work. At the same time, attention will be given to increasing networking opportunities so that participants can identify potential partners or colleagues from whom they can learn in the longer term.
Until 25 January 2016, requests for oral presentations, posters or workshops can be submitted via this form on topics such as:
- Public engagement: Engaging with the general public; engaging with different age groups: children, teenagers, seniors and different social groups; engaging with students and teachers outside the classroom; astronomy communication in South America; astronomy communication in the developing world; social media and new media best practices; outrageous outreach; co-creation; global networking in international campaigns; steps in developing a visitor centre; using entertainment to communicate science; science and art projects; citizen science etc.
- Media relations: Writing press releases; talking with the media; what not to do when communicating with media; how to gain popularity in the media with a low budget; media interviews; multimedia techniques.
- Challenges in astronomy communication: Issues management and crisis communication; talking with policy makers; low budget; high expectations; fundraising — existing call for funds, best practices in fundraising, how to write a fundraising case etc.
The procedure for submitting contributions follows a novel concept, where the participants construct their abstract on the fly by filling out questions about their aim, their target group and what the audience will learn.
Registration can be done by filling out this form. The early registration fee will be $320 (US dollars) until 5 February 2016 and $230 for students. Standard registration fee will be $390 until 30 March and $280 for students. After 30 March 2016, a late registration fee will apply, of $440 and $320 for students. Grants will be offered for participants who need financial support to take part in the event.
- 30 October 2015: Registration and submission of contributions opens
- 1 December 2015: Grant application opens
- 15 January 2016: Grant application deadline
- 25 January 2016: Submission of contributions closes
- 5 February 2016: Last day to benefit from early registration fee
- 30 March 2016: Last day to benefit from standard registration fee
- Starting April 2016: Late registration fee
The conference is organised by the IAU Commission C2: Communicating Astronomy with the Public, in cooperation with the Science Centre Parque Explora.
To stay updated with news from CAP2016, please sign up to the conference mailing list and follow our Facebook page.
The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 10 000 professional astronomers from almost 100 countries. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.
SOC co-chair of CAP2016
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65
IAU International Outreach Coordinator / SOC co-chair of CAP2016
Tel: +81 422 34 3896
Cell: +81 80 9274 2454
Carlos Augusto Molina
LOC co-chair of CAP2016
Director Planetario de Medellín
Parque Explora Corporation
Tel: +57 4 516 8385
Fax: +57 4 516 83 81
Cell: +57 300 439 02 20
Paula Andrea Ortiz Otálvaro
LOC co-chair of CAP2016
Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621