Your Planetarium: A Friend Indeed; or How to improve the public understanding of Science

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Session 43 -- Planetariums
Oral presentation, 8:30am - 12:30pm, June 14, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[43.03] Your Planetarium: A Friend Indeed; or How to improve the public understanding of Science

Martin Ratcliffe (Henry Buhl Jr. Planetarium and Observatory)

Astronomical research requires public funding, and thment on public support. The greatest contact between the public and astronomy occurs through the nationUs planetariums, and the staff of these facilities are frequently asked to com'ent on recent discoveries. It is in our best interest to use and support the work of planetariums as an already existing outlet, not only to build public support for research, but as a nationUs commitment to the greater public understanding o" science. AAS President Frank Shu notes in newsletter 74, "failure to prepare the general citizenry to face an increasingly complex technological future indeed puts the nation at risk". Indeed, the issue is an important one.

The efforts of the Henry Buhl Jr. Planetarium in Pittsburgh to provide up-to-date, accurate information about current astronomical research, the collaborative effort between STScI and the Buhl Planetarium to produce a new planetarium show, RThrough the Eyes of HubbleS, and future efforts for collaborative projects to present science in an informed, yet entertaining way will be presented, and reflect similar efforts of the entire planetarium communty.

Following the presented papers, a discussion session will offer the opportunity to explore new links between the planetarium ommunity and the astronomical community. The ideas will be presented to the newly constituted Astronomy Education Policy Board of the AAS as part of the national astronomy education initiative.

8:30a program listing