2011 Annual Science Report

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Titan Reporting  |  SEP 2010 – AUG 2011

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 been producing 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. This year we held two events, a debate entitled “Is titan Dead or alive” on September 15, 2010, in which Dr. Jeffrey Moore from NASA/Ames took the position that Titan is not geologically active, and Dr. Ralph Lorenz from the Applied Physics Laboratory took the position that Titan is geologically active. We had an audience of 180 people ranging in age from 9 to 90. Audience surveys indicated a high degree of audience engagement. The debate, including audience question and answers, was filmed with multiple high definition cameras and has been edited into a film. We have finished closed-captioning for the film and it will be posted on the web shortly.

We also held an evening lecture by Dr. Steven Benner on topic of “Science, Life and the Universe”. This was attended by 80 people, and audience surveys indicated very high audience satisfaction with the program. The lecture was filmed and is being edited for web distribution.