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Second Announcement

Dear Colleague, 

This is the Second Announcement of the conference and opening of Registration

Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2011 (CAP 2011) — New Territories for Science Outreach

Registrations are now open for the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2011 Conference (CAP 2011), which this year takes place between 10 and 14 October at the Xiyuan Hotel in Beijing, China.

The 2011 Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference will focus on how to bring science to the people of today and tomorrow. With online platforms boosting with popularity and traffic, there is a whole world building up in the social media and the overall online territory, a world where individuals become opinion leaders by owning and sharing information. We need to embrace this revolution in communication.

At the same time, the IAU has started the implementation of the decadal plan entitled “Astronomy for the Developing World”. This plan, built on the legacy of IYA2009, brings new opportunities and challenges for communicating astronomy across the globe, with emphasis on the developing world.

Public Information Officers, educators, science communicators, journalists and bloggers and professional and amateur astronomers are invited to register for the conference as participants or submit abstracts for giving talks or presenting posters.
The major themes of the Conference will be:

  • Social media for astronomy outreach
  • Media relations in the digital age
  • Audiovisual & multimedia communication incl. tools and techniques
  • Crowdsourcing/citizen science projects
  • The role of science centres, planetariums and observatories
  • Alternative ways for communicating astronomy with the public
  • The challenges of the digital era
  • Amateur Astronomers: An army to astronomy outreach
  • Using astronomy outreach to excite children with science and technology
  • Evaluation of outreach projects
  • Social impact of astronomy communication
  • Astronomy communication in the developing world
  • Communicating across national, language, political, social and cultural borders
  • The legacy of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009)

In addition to covering the traditional themes of astronomy outreach in this meeting, we are looking in particular to explore means of engaging with the public and young people who otherwise would not tune into the astronomy message – i.e. ‘guerrilla astronomy’. Regarding young people, it is clear that ‘new media’ is just what it says on the box, and we wish to have a major focus on this topic.

The 2011 Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference will provide an opportunity to learn about bringing science to the people of today and tomorrow including topics such as:

  • Gaining digital and social skills to engage online
  • Learning how to relate with the journalists of today
  • Designing a social media strategy and finding out what not to do on social media
  • Evaluating your online and social return of investment
  • Communicating science in less than 140 characters — Twitter success stories
  • Seeking alternative ways to engage your audiences
  • How citizen science has the potential to revolutionise engagement and science
  • Preparing to face potential online crises
  • Offering your public a new digital feel of science
  • How to succeed with YouTube
  • Empowering your communities to experience science
  • Discussions of whether traditional methods of communication like press releases are dying
  • How the demographics of our target group is shifting (their deadlines, their interests, the type of support they use for transmitting information)
  • Embargoes and usage rights
  • Cutting-edge technology: iPad apps, augmented reality, Search Engine Optimisation techniques

Abstracts are received until 15 July, whereas the registration deadline is 1 September. For details about fees, programme, accommodation, transport and other practical information please visit:

To stay in touch with the latest news connect with CAP 2011, you can join our mailing list here. We will also be present on Twitter using the hashtag #CAP2011

The conference will take place between October 11 – 14, 2011 at the Xiyuan Hotel in Beijing, China. For more details please visit:

Remember that China requires a VISA to visit for most countries and so you need to ensure that this is coordinated with the LOC, who will be able to issue letters of invitation for visa purposes. Therefore, registering early is strongly encouraged.

Best regards,

The SOC and the LOC