Outreach has always been valued in our department, and the university as a whole shows signs of making it a higher priority — not just because it supports recruitment, alumni relations, fundraising, and our public image, but also because we are accountable to the public, and we are an integral part of the GTA community. Besides, outreach is fun!
In this colloquium, I will reflect on my half-century of experience in astronomy outreach in Canada and beyond, on the more than a dozen organizations in which I have served, on the mentors and role models who have influenced me, and on the other factors that have contributed to success. For maximum efficiency and effectiveness, we should aim for high impact and high leverage. At the same time, there is a place for basic, face-to-face communication between astronomers and the public both young and old. Partnership, collaboration, and coordination with other organizations almost always helps, and is one of the reasons why I have enjoyed outreach so much. More government support for science education and outreach would obviously help, too.
John Percy (University of Toronto)
March 27, 2015
14:00 - 15:00