A full work package dedicated to dissemination and communication, outreach was a major task during the entire project.
The FLARECAST outreach pages contain everything we did to engage with society:
- Background information about the core topic of the project: solar flare forecasting
- Information about the two user workshops
- Activities for and with the public, including educational resources developed for this project
- Press work
FLARECAST members engaged with the public in multiple ways, making use of diverse opportunities to link with their local communities: at science festivals, during open door days, at informal learning workshops, at public talks, in schools, with the media both locally and nationally, with people from industries and governments interested in using the results of the project. A ‘one fits all’ programme doesn’t work in outreach with partners in different countries. Every partner needs to find opportunities and solutions that work in his or her particular context of work. In order to facilitate this process, a collection of resources to be used in diverse settings was set up, including educational materials specifically developed and tested for this project. They may be used by anyone beyond the duration of the project. The FLARECAST outreach blog was used to share practices, experiences and new developments in science communication, aiming at inspiring partners to get involved and try something new. A list illustrating the diversity of public activities that took place in all partner countries may be found here.
Communication at eye level allowed people not involved in science to get an idea not only about the project itself, but also about the cutting edges of science, the workings of contemporary research and the ways in which technology is involved in all of this. The learning curve was high on both sides, as scientists got to meet people outside their communities of peers. In fact, some communication partners from governments and industries had very specific expectations in respect to FLARECAST’s output. Not all of them could be fulfilled within the scope of this project. However, they pointed to further developments necessary to make solar flare forecasting useful for end users.
Last but not least, we aimed at giving a face to the European dimension in research within the HORIZON2020 framework. You may get an impression in the video FLARECAST Faces and Voices:
Should you have any questions or comments about FLARECAST outreach, please contact the outreach coordinator Hanna Sathiapal.