The Charter of the Working Group on Public Outreach
The Astronomical Society of India hereby forms a Working Group for public outreach of astronomy, with a charter to
- Increase public interest, awareness, and understanding of astronomy in India.
- Create resource material to be shared in the public domain, and implement campaigns towards the above goal.
- Promote awareness and understanding of important astronomy discoveries and projects in India, as well as globally
- Form networks and collaborations with research and education institutions as well as with groups and individuals across the country that work on astronomy outreach and education
- Explore and participate in inter-disciplinary projects connected to astronomy and science in the public sphere in collaboration with people and organisations that are chosen by the working group.
- Promote the presence of astronomy knowledge in the public domain, and facilitate the use of astronomy as a gateway for interest in science, scientific temper, and science literacy.
The Mandate of the Working Group on Public Outreach
The Working Group is hereby mandated
- To create resource material and to plan campaigns, either by itself or in collaboration with other research, educational or astronomy outreach organisations in India
- To enable translation of these resource material in as many Indian languages as possible by creating a voluntary translation task force
- To share publicly all of the resource material and campaign information the Working Group is a part of, under creative commons, without copyright
- To design appropriate material and campaigns specifically aimed at four different groups of people (1) primary and middle school students, (2) high school students, (3) under-graduate and graduate students and (4) general public
- To keep in mind the need for equitable access to astronomy knowledge and practice in terms of gender, urban/rural, and other divides in society while designing material and campaigns. Specifically, explore and encourage initiatives to provide access to people with disabilities
- To facilitate and participate in programmes that are sustained over a period of time as well as based on specific astronomy events
- Maintain a website under the main ASI website, to announce campaigns and events, share resource material, provide information and create a platform for sharing of ideas among collaborating groups. Integrate with social media effectively
- Work with journalists, especially science journalists, in the country to improve the quality and quantity of astronomy news
- Set up a team of volunteers from astronomy institutes, universities and amateur astronomers for helping the Working Group
- Work with amateur astronomy groups and individuals in India, foster collaborations between them and the professional astronomy community, and encourage the growth of citizen science projects
- Facilitate projects to highlight the scientific and astronomy heritage of India, especially in the context of modern astronomy. Create public and online projects to link historical astronomical sites, existing observatories and modern astronomy practice
- Prepare a budget for these activities to submitted to the ASI