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2009 Annual Science Report

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Titan Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: A Series of Evening Public Events

Project Progress

We are prototyping several modes of informal astrobiology educational presentation at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, with testing, documentation and packaging for dissemination to other museums and planetariums. We have begun a series of evening public events designed to excite, inform and engage the public in the latest astrobiology research and the wider societal implications of research in this field. Adult education programming at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) has established a strong audience base and a reputation for presenting compelling opportunities for the public to interact with leaders in scientific and cultural research fields. Through prominent webcasting and archived streaming videos, DMNS adult programs have increasingly reached national and international audiences. The first event in this series was a lecture by our EPO lead, Dr. David Grinspoon, Curator of Astrobiology at DMNS entitled “Astrobiology of Titan” presented at Ricketson Auditorium on August, 18, 2009 for an audience of 180 people ranging in age from 9 to 90. Audience surveys indicated a high degree of audience engagement. This lecture, which served as a broad introduction to Astrobiology, to Titan as a subject of astrobiological interest, and to our team and the work we will be undertaking over five years, was filmed with multiple high definition cameras and is currently being edited for web-cast and archiving. We will continue this series with three lectures in 2010, and also begin the live web-casting as well as web-archiving of the series.