The primary goal of this Special Session (SpS) is to provide the interested astronomers with insights and tips into effective communication with the public — both directly and through various types of media coverage. This SpS will feature key speakers knowledgeable in various areas of science communication who will share their best practices via Invited Talks. Contributed Talks are invited from astronomers who have successfully communicated astronomy with the public so that they can share their experiences with the other participants. This SpS will be especially valuable to those astronomers from smaller institutes that do not have communication specialists on staff and who are responsible for communicating with the public in their area.
Astronomers “have a responsibility to communicate their results and efforts with the public for the benefit of all”, especially since most are publically funded, and across the world national budgets are under strain. The importance of science communication has never been greater nor have the opportunities for communication of science to the public been larger. While astronomers are highly trained in carrying out scientific research, in general they are poorly equipped to communicate the excitement and results of their research to a broader audience. Generally, they do not have information about the various opportunities for communicating astronomy nor on the resources to help them and support them in communicating astronomy.