Live Blog from the IAU 260 Symposium, S12 Astronomy, the Media and Society Part 2

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The next speakers are Dominique Leglu, on the subject of “Astronomy: medias’ favourite.

A very interesting talk from a journalist with a background in particle phyics, Dominique gave her presentation without a powerpoint talk, directly from experience, giving her point of view of how astronomy is perceived from a journalists point of view and how astronomy and astronomers capture the publics imagination.

Dominique Leglu, Astronomy: medias' favourite

Dominique Leglu, Astronomy: medias

Next speaker is Henri Boffin, with the subject of Astronomy and the media: a love story.

Henri is based at ESO, and is involved in a global communication strategy, with media being a main platform for communication. Why do we need media? with limited resources, we need amplifying outlets to reach a significant fraction of the targeted audience. Journalists know their public bettter than the scientists. The media play a very important role by raising public awareness about science and its results but scientists have a misiformed view that the journalism should be educating the public.


Everyone is born an astronomer, New Scientist has a specific Space section, BBC Sky at Night, etc. Astronomy does sell, especially on the fron cover of TIME magazine compared with other science subjects. Medicine is the best seller though. The real winner in press releases is the solar system. Astronomy lives by images, and these sell astronomy. The media rely on images and some times artists impressions have to eb used.

Is it a love story? Yes, astronomy gets more than its fair share in the media. In 2007, ESO appearred in at least 100 times in the media, this type of advertising if paid for would have cost more than 40 million euros!

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