The Unique Role Of The Planetarium/ Science Centre In Science Communication
This paper presents a very broad overview of the planetarium community. It is intended to present some basic facts about planetarium facilities, their distribution around the world, and suggestions for how education/public outreach (E/PO) and planetarium professionals (planetarians) can interact to bring astronomy to the public. These suggestions stem from an ongoing survey of planetarians, which asks what E/PO products they use and the effectiveness of such materials.
Planetarium facilities are among the most useful and attractive places members of the public can visit to learn about astronomy. Many astronomers recount vivid and fond memories of planetarium visits in their youth and these places remain staples for museum and science field trip visits. They reach out to a broad cross-section of society to bring astronomy to the public, often doing so despite low budgets and short staffing.