29-30 May 2017
European Southern Observatory
Europe/Berlin timezone

When Social effort overcomes Funding constraints

30 May 2017, 11:45
Eridanus (European Southern Observatory)


European Southern Observatory

85748 Garching Germany


Mr João Retrê (Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences)


The development of science communication activities requires various areas of knowledge and expertise (e.g. journalists, designers, musical artists and movie producers). The necessary funds to commission these services can be a serious limiting factor for most institutions doing science communication. Although discouraging, it is possible to create an efficient outreach programme without having access to a large budget. This talk addresses several real success examples of low budget outreach initiatives which are part of a comprehensive science communication programme, developed at the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, making use of social based synergies to create innovative collaborations that enhance outreach activities. The strategy followed within this programme focus on two main lines of action: the fostering of a close bond between the institution/scientists and the public, and the creation of synergies with a diversity of professionals. Providing a shared environment which foster connections and dialog, and placing the public and researchers in equal standing, one can raise the awareness of the institution in society and nurture empathy for it. On this ground, it is possible to create a close, reciprocal and beneficial link between society, the scientists and the institution itself. On one hand, the researchers feel more encouraged and motivated to do outreach, and in many cases, they are the ones who look for or propose new ideas to implement and in which they collaborate. In addition, many people from the public come up with new ideas for outreach, either as individuals, companies, or institutions, and propose mutually beneficial collaborations that lead to projects with minor costs to the institution. Moreover, it becomes much easier for the institution to establish contacts with members of the public, companies or other institutions in order to negotiate partnerships. In this presentation some results of this strategy will be shown, including an artistic residence resulting in an art exhibition, music concerts within astronomy events, content production with design students, and a series of podcasts.

Primary author

Mr João Retrê (Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences)


Ana Alves (Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço) Dr Jose Afonso (Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences) Mr Sérgio Pereira (Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço)

Presentation Materials

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