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Raising and maintaining awareness of our local space weather: education and public outreach (co-organized)
Convener: Athanasios Papaioannou  | Co-Convener: Jean Lilensten 
 / Fri, 02 May, 13:30–15:00
 / Attendance Fri, 02 May, 17:30–19:00

Space weather is the physical and phenomenological state of natural space environments. The associated discipline aims, through observation, monitoring, analysis and modelling, at understanding and predicting the state of the sun, the interplanetary and planetary environments, and the solar and non-solar driven perturbations that affect them; and also at forecasting and nowcasting the possible impacts on biological and technological systems. It may impact astronaut crews outside the magnetosphere, as well as aviation flight crews and passengers on trans-polar flights. Therefore, solar storms – the drivers of space weather - can be placed in the context of natural hazards. Although the public is becoming aware of space weather, through combined efforts on a multi-scale level, people can still be quite confused and probably have limited understanding of its relevance in their daily lives. Hence, it is of high importance, to discover and understand the physical conditions and processes that produce space weather and its effects, to develop and sustain necessary observational capabilities to mitigate the deleterious effects of severe space weather and to perform quantitative analyses on the probability of space weather risks and their consequences. In order to develop and sustain interest in solar and space physics and ensure nurturing of the public, investment must be made in education and public awareness activities.

This session aims at promoting space weather in educational institutions in all levels with a view of making the general public aware of its impact without the “crying wolf” syndrome. This last part is of importance as it seems the public is still confused, often inappropriately worried, and insufficiently prepared regarding space weather and its potential impacts. We aim at gathering together scientists with expertise in various fields of solar-terrestrial physics that deal with the effects of solar eruptions on different aspects of space weather; managers, and policy makers that can have an impact on public opinion and thus serve as a contact point with the public. We welcome contributions on all aspects of education and public outreach activities.

Solicited Talks:

"Communicating space weather to policymakers and the wider public" by Dr. Bárbara Ferreira

"The United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative" by Prof. Hans Haubold and Dr. Werner Balogh

Selected presentations will be invited for full papers in the international peer review journal Space Weather and Space Climate