CASE runs the largest astrobiology outreach course in the world.

How do I know this?

Well, Martin Griffiths and I are soon to present a paper on Glamorgan’s outreach work at the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s (NAI) biennial meeting at the University of Colorado, Boulder, between 10 and 14 April.

We’ve been frankly amazed at what most of the universities of the world claim as outreach. Opening up their labs to the great unwashed for one day of the year seems to qualify in some places, as does, no doubt, accidentally bumping into a bag lady at the bus stop who accidentally engages them in talk about birthsigns

In sublime contrast over the last two years CASE’s outreach programme in astrobiology has been stimulating exceptional public interest throughout South Wales. Funded by a European Social Fund (ESF) grant, with a total project cost of ??450k ($840K) for two years, over 350 people have enjoyed our accredited undergraduate course, Alien Worlds

This modular course has introduced our students to the multidisciplinary nature of astrobiology, and coupled it to a practical ability to recognise the constellations and objects of the night sky The course???s themes and content, are a shining example of how to motivate and stimulate public awareness to the potential of the science and culture of astrobiology, and of how science does NOT have to be dumbed down for the masses. Excellent student feedback and other quantifiable measures of project success have resulted in a further grant from ESF, ??500k ($935K), to continue the programme until 2007, all of which augurs well for our imminent BSc Astrobiology

One comment

    Mike Reddy

    April 2, 2005

    Congratulations. Recognition, well deserved.

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