Status Report

How Astronomers Perceive the Societal Impact of Research: An Exploratory Study

By SpaceRef Editor
March 13, 2020
Filed under , ,

Michelle Willebrands, Pedro Russo

(Submitted on 12 Mar 2020)

We present an exploratory study of the perception of professional astronomers about the societal impact of astronomy. Ten semi-structured interviews with astronomers from a range of career and cultural backgrounds have been conducted to gain in-depth insight into their opinion about societal impact and their approach in realising it. The results show that the interviewees are aware of the diversity of impacts that astronomical research has. However, they are mostly active in outreach and only a few activities are incorporated into their jobs to achieve an impact on development. There is little contact with stakeholders in industry, policy or other fields, like development. Besides, a structured approach in their personal outreach is lacking, and assessment is only done informally. Despite the limited sample size of this study, the results indicate that a further change is necessary to engage professional astronomers with topics of development and societal impact to create action on the level of individual researchers.

Comments: 8 pages, accepted for publication: Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Journal reference: Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal, 2020

Cite as: arXiv:2003.05759 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2003.05759v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Pedro Russo 

[v1] Thu, 12 Mar 2020 12:56:26 UTC (163 KB)

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