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Final session: showcasing ideas and guided reflection

15 December 2021
  • Other

Programme for Week 4

Jen Wong (Guerilla Science) will present a case study of engaging the public with space science through the ‘Intergalactic Travel Bureau’ an immersive theatrical experience, staged as part of mainstream public festivals and events. The presentation of Intergalactic Travel Bureau will be followed by a moderated audience Q+A.

Jen is co-founder and Director of Guerilla Science, an organisation dedicated to revolutionising how people engage with science. She is also Head of Programming at Science Gallery London, a space where art and science collide at King’s College London. She leads on the gallery's public programme of exhibition and events and works with curators, artists, scientists and diverse audiences to create transdisciplinary experiences at the intersection of the arts and sciences. She has worked across the cultural sector primarily in museums, galleries and festivals, and within the higher education sector. Jen has a background in curation, experience production and science communication. She has a degree in Natural Sciences, and an M.Phil in History & Philosophy of Science.

Closing speaker - Ewine van Dishoeck - Ewine van Dishoeck studies the tenuous, ice-cold clouds of gas and dust grains that are found between the stars, like those in the Orion Nebula which is well known for its breath-taking images. These clouds contain all sorts of molecules that are interesting in themselves: due to the unusual conditions in space, molecules are present that are not normally found on Earth. But another fascinating thing occurs in many of these clouds: they are the birthplaces of new stars and planets. Van Dishoeck looks at the formation processes of these celestial bodies, and studies which molecules will end up on one of these new planets. For example, where does the water in our oceans come from? Van Dishoeck has been awarded many prizes and honours, including the Kavli Prize for astrophysics in 2018, the highest scientific award in this field worldwide. Van Dishoeck is also known for her work on the development of the next generation of telescopes and satellites. These are nearly always international collaboration projects in which Van Dishoeck assumes the role of bringing together people, resources and organisations. She holds many international functions, including President of the International Astronomical Union 2018-2021. Van Dishoeck conducts her research from the Leiden Observatory, one of the most illustrious institutes of astronomy in the world.

During this session, groups of participants will present their ideas, and give and receive critical feedback from one another. They will participate in a guided reflection exercise, and develop personal and group goals for the future. Interested groups will be invited to pitch their ideas to upcoming festivals and events, including Leiden 2022: European City of Science.


  • Space
  • astronomy


Sharing Space: creative collaboration for public engagement with cutting-edge astronomy

Many astronomers and science communicators are familiar with communicating the wonder of the solar system, or missions to Mars. However, cutting-edge astronomical research such as the search for dark energy, or gravitational waves, while showing up in press releases, is much less common in the public engagement of science and technology.