Science Communication Activities
The Hands-On Universe
Cosmology and astrophysics address some of the most fundamental and universally fascinating questions in the whole of science: Where did the Universe come from? What is it made of? What will its ultimate fate be? The study of the Universe is inspiring, humbling and in short one of the greatest scientific challenges of humankind.
But by its nature the cosmos is also far removed from our everyday experience. This is part of its mystery and fascination, but it can also become a hurdle when trying to engage the public in a genuine, two-way dialogue. The Hands-On Universe is a public engagement programme to create and deliver innovative methods of connecting the public with our cosmic environment, and with cutting-edge research in astrophysics.
The Hands-on Universe endeavours to reinterpret and understand the big questions in cosmology and astrophysics in terms of our everyday experiences, metaphorically, conceptually, artistically and emotionally. What is the Universe made of? How did it begin? How will it end? What is the nature of reality? How does science work? Award-winning astrophysicist and science communicator Dr Roberto Trotta creates immersive, participative experiences by using do-it-yourself activities, cookery and other fun, unexpected ways of engaging with the great mysteries of the cosmos.
The Hands-on Universe is a programme of outreach and public engagement activities sponsored by a Public Engagement Fellowship awarded by STFC (The Science and Technology Facilities Council UK), and by grants from the Institute of Physics and the Royal Astronomical Society.
The Edge of the Sky: All you need to know about the All-There-Is
“This book will be more important than any other science book I will read for a very long time.” —The Book Bag
“The Edge of the Sky makes the whole topic sound like a wonderful fairy tale – reading it just makes you feel good.” —BBC Sky at Night Magazine
“A wonder-full not-afraid story-telling try-it-and-see. Very not-usual, most good. Fun, too. Buy now!” —Ian Stewart
“A surprisingly clear, and often poetic, primer” —Scientific American
“This beautifully written book, with its limited vocabulary, soars.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“One part children’s book for grownups, one part imaginative exercise in economical yet lyrical language, and wholly wonderful.”—Brain Pickings, Best Science Books 2014
“A master storyteller.”—Foreign Policy
From the big bang to alien worlds, from dark matter to dark energy, from the origins of the universe to its destiny, The Edge of the Sky is a tale of the great discoveries and outstanding mysteries in modern cosmology — with a twist. Astrophysicist Roberto Trotta has used only the 1,000 most common words in the English language to talk about difficult concepts in cosmology in beautifully simple terms that everybody can understand.
Through the eyes of a female scientist (student-woman) looking for dark matter in far-away galaxies (Star-Crowds) with one of the biggest telescopes (Big-Seers) on Earth (Home-World), Trotta explains what we have learnt about the universe (All-There-Is) and our place in it.
The result is a surprising, entertaining, and entrancing story of the cosmos on a very human scale.