Communicating Astronomy Beyond IYA2009

Rick Fienberg

American Astronomical Society

The International Year of Astronomy 2009, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first look at the night sky through a telescope, was arguably the most successful public-outreach event in the history of science. Thousands of professional and amateur astronomers, public-information officers, writers, publishers, teachers, and informal educators from 148 countries worked tirelessly to share the wonders of astronomy with millions of people, from rural schoolchildren to the President of the United States. How to build on IYA2009 is the theme of ‘Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2010,’ a conference to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in mid-March. I’ll report some of the highlights from CAP2010 and consider the extent to which the IYA2009 helped us address global challenges in astronomy communication.