Understanding and Meeting the Needs of Space Scientists in
EPO—Survey Results, Responses, and Strategies
As science literacy is falling in the United States, our world continues to become more complex. Everyone now requires an understanding of science, technology, and the relationship of interconnected systems in order to successfully navigate the complex issues facing us. Scientists are a critical resource, bringing to the table an understanding of the nature of science as a process, as well as up-to-the-minute scientific content. They can function in a wide range of capacities in education and public outreach (EPO) to meet some of the learning challenges of teachers, students, and the general public. Societies that work directly with scientists, such as the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) are interested in understanding how their member scientists view the act of reaching out, how they do it, and how the DPS can continue to support them as they engage with a variety of audiences in an EPO capacity. To this end, we (the NASA Science Mission Directorate Planetary Science Forum and DPS leadership) conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with a subsection of DPS members to learn more about their attitudes and needs, and to begin to pinpoint opportunities and strategies for future consideration.
Presented here are our preliminary results and the ideas generated for further conversations.