We have established an innovative public outreach event series called Astronomy on Tap. The venues, format, timing, and content of the events aim to bring science to the public in an informal, engaging, creative way and to reach a larger, more diverse audience than typical public science lectures at academic and cultural institutions. Each event is held on a weekday evening at a bar and features several short astronomy-related presentations, usually electronic slides with other media formats encouraged. The presenters are typically early-career scientists (grad students, postdocs and new faculty) and occasionally educators, writers, and artists with experience relevant to astronomy. The informal and interactive environment is encouraged by allowing ample time for questions and conversations between presenters and the audience before, during, and after presentations. We also have a designated host who provides introductions, interludes, games, prizes, and give aways. The events serve as professional development by providing opportunities for early-career scientists to practice communication and presentation skills in a decidedly non-academic environment. We have successfully held over ten events in three cities in 2012-2013 and received extremely positive feedback from presenters, attendees, and venue staff. We present key practical considerations for hosting a similar event and share initial evaluation results collected at events in October 2013.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #223
- Pub Date:
- January 2014