Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal
Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal (CAPjournal) is a free peer-reviewed journal for astronomy communicators, online and in print.
Public communication of astronomy provides an important link between the scientific astronomical community and society, giving visibility to scientific success stories and supporting both formal and informal science education. While the principal task of an astronomer is to further our knowledge of the Universe, disseminating this new information to a wider audience than the scientific community is becoming increasingly important. This is the main task of public astronomy communication — to bring astronomy to society.
The next few years will be extremely important for astronomy communication and education. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 will serve as a unique platform to inform the public about the latest discoveries in astronomy as well as to emphasize the essential role of astronomy in science education. However, as the astronomy outreach community expands globally, it becomes increasingly important to establish a community of science communication experts.
The IAU DIVISION XII Commission 55 Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Working Group prepared a study assessing the feasibility of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal (CAPjournal). The conclusions were inescapable. The present situation of public astronomy communication shows a clear need for a publication addressing the specific needs of the public astronomy communication community.
The main objectives are:
- documenting and absorbing knowledge (“Teach and Train”);
- providing a basis for discussions;
- compelling further progress;
- establishing priorities in the field;
- furthering careers (through documentation of the excellence of the individual);
- and helping to avoid the duplication of effort.
Russo, P. & Christensen, L.L. et al., The Journal Communicating Astronomy with the Public - A Study from IAU Division XII Commission 55 CAP Journal Working Group, in Christensen, L.L. & Zoulias, M. (eds.) Proceedings from Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2007