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In communicating science, Europe envies the U.S.

From the August 16, 2008 issue of Science News

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11:26am, August 4, 2008

On July 21, at the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona, members of the European astronomy community participated in a discussion about why their space program has failed to engage public interest in a manner comparable to programs in the United States.

Organized by Dirk Lorenzen, a physicist turned journalist for German public radio, the session was titled “Reaching for the Stars: Research in Heaven, Communication in Hell.” Lorenzen, a longtime reporter on space science and technology, began by pointing out that the public, both in Europe and elsewhere, knows little of the work of ESA, the European Space Agency. Yet NASA is known globally. Lorenzen blamed the overall attitude of European scientists, saying that most of them “don’t regard scientific communication as important.”

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