English version / CAP 2016 /

About CAP 2016


Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2016 (CAP 2016), organised by Commission C2 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), is the eighth in a series of conferences to promote the exchange of ideas and best practices in the field of astronomy and space communication, as well as informal education.

Since 2005, the conference has been an open platform to exchange opinions and experiences regarding the latest challenges in communicating astronomy with the public. It highlights efficient and proven ways of science communication.

CAP 2016 is the first meeting of the IAU Commission C2 (previously C55) in South America. The conference will also serve as a means for the international astronomical community to gain a comprehensive view of astronomy communication and outreach in South America.


CAP 2016 is open to participants interested in exchanging views on communicating astronomy and space sciences with the public. It aims to bring together professional science communicators, journalists and writers; producers of astronomical and space-related information (research scientists); press officers connected with large observatories and space missions; staff members of museums, science centres and planetariums; artists working with science; production and entertainment businesses promoting science; and public speakers and facilitators engaging the public with science and technology outside the classroom.


  • To be a platform to share science communication experiences, ideas and best practices, as well as lessons learnt.
  • To facilitate the formation of new and strengthen existing global networks of astronomy communicators.
  • To improve the communication and informal science education skills of all participants.
  • To facilitate the interaction of professionals from varied backgrounds who share the common goal of communicating astronomy with the public.
  • To support the development of proficient, creative and engaging astronomy communication and informal education efforts worldwide.
  • To serve as a platform for Latin American countries to present their work in astronomy communication and outreach and exchange views and experiences with other countries.


  • Public Engagement
  • Engaging with the general public
  • Social media and new media best practices and lessons learnt
  • Outrageous outreach (nonconventional outreach)
  • Engaging with different age groups: children, teenagers, seniors and different social groups
  • Engaging with students and teachers outside the classroom
  • Global networking in international campaigns
  • Astronomy communication in the developing world
  • Building a visitor centre
  • Using co-creation to communicate science
  • Using entertainment to communicate science
  • When science meets art
  • Citizen science projects
  • Astronomy communication and outreach in South America

Media Relations

  • Writing press releases
  • Talking with the media
  • Multimedia techniques
  • Do’s and dont’s when communicating with the media
  • Media interviews

Challenges in Astronomy Communication

  • Issues management and crisis communication
  • Talking with policy makers
  • Low budget, high expectations
  • How to gain traction on a shoestring budget
  • Fundraising

About the International Astronomical Union

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its individual members - structured in Divisions, Commissions, and Working Groups - are professional astronomers from all over the world, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, who are active researchers and educators in astronomy. For more information, visit: http://www.iau.org/about

About IAU Commission C2

IAU Commission 55 had its origins in a conference entitled ‘Communicating Astronomy to the Public’ held at the US National Academy of Sciences in early October 2003. The second, and somewhat more visible, Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference was held in Washington, DC, in 2004, arranged by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Recognising the importance of bringing together an international group of producers of astronomical information, public information officers, and mediators, the IAU set up the Working Group ‘Communicating Astronomy with the Public’, which organised the CAP 2005 Conference at ESO in Munich. At the IAU General Assembly in Prague in August 2006, the Working Group became a Commission (Commission 55), ‘Communicating Astronomy with the Public’. More recently, at the IAU General Assembly in Honolulu in August 2015, the IAU Commissions were reformed, and Commission 55 received a new number: C2.