I have yet to meet an astronomer who does not care about telling other people about the wonders of the Universe. Astronomers share a passion for their science … and with that the battle for winning people's hearts and minds is halfway won.
That is why it has been such a pleasure to collect tips and advice from astronomers around the world on how they communicate astronomy in a wide variety of ways to different audiences.
Nearly 50 astronomers from around the world contributed their ideas and experiences, often based on many years of involvement in communicating astronomy. As can be expected, their ideas differ and may even contradict one another … so it is up to the end-user to decide what may work best in a particular setting. Please also note that the opinions expressed are those of the contributors.
I would like to thank the astronomers featured in this guide for their willingness and enthusiasm to share their ideas and lessons learned over the years. The project was made possible by funding from South Africa's Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) and South Africa's Department of Science and Technology.
I hope that other astronomers, and especially astronomy students, will find it interesting and useful, and that it will inspire them to seek (or create!) opportunities to communicate so that they can apply some of these valuable tips and guidelines … and bring stars to their audiences' eyes!