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The Herschel Space Observatory: scientific and technical outreach

Outreach campaign brings the wonders of space science to the masses

A PR and outreach campaign led by the team who built SPIRE (one of three scientific instruments used on the Herschel Space Observatory), is bringing the wonders of space science to the wider public and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.  Cardiff University Professor Matt Griffin’s team, armed with a scale model of the spacecraft, have taken the Herschel story directly to over 4,000 school pupils, with thousands more learning about the project from their teachers in the classroom.

The UK Herschel outreach website has had 100,000 unique visitors, and the project has achieved comprehensive media coverage across the broadsheets, BBC Radio and TV, as well as international press.

Public talks have attracted in excess of 6,500 audience members with thousands more attending events and exhibitions to hear about the Herschel project.  From this successful start, and with many more scientific discoveries to come from Herschel’s database of observations, the outreach programme is set to go from strength-to-strength.

“The SPIRE group has routinely recognised those pieces of research that will reach out best to the general public, and have been able to convey this interest in very engaging terms.” Jonathan Amos, BBC

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