Europlanet Science Congress 2020
Virtual meeting
21 September – 9 October 2020
Europlanet Science Congress 2020
Virtual meeting
21 September – 9 October 2020

Oral presentations and abstracts


Knowledge creation is a collaborative process including synergies between different disciplines, communities and stakeholders. The framework of open science is also connected to the involvement of people outside academia, such as amateur societies, school students, corporate partners etc. Open science has a variety of aspects and applications. What are the efforts done in the field of planetary sciences to establish and increase openness? To what degree planetary science researchers and practitioners endeavour accessibility within the various communities - academics and non-academics? During this session these and other relevant questions will be addressed through the presentation of open planetary science projects, tools, data and platforms. Furthermore, the current status and the potential for future efforts towards an open and public planetary science scheme will be discussed.
Planetary scientists, researchers and other stakeholders are welcome to present any relevant ideas and current efforts in the context of promoting open & public science.

Public information:
11:20–11:24 Introduction
11:24–11:28 Opening Science for educational purposes
11:28–11:32 Towards knowledge co-creation - Opening Scientific Research to the public
11:32–11:36 Practices and tools to support Open Science
11:36–11:40 Building an Open Scientific Community

Convener: Anastasia Kokori | Co-conveners: Caterina Boccato, Angelos Tsiaras

Session assets

Session summary

Chairperson: Caterina Boccato
Rosie Cane, Tony Thompson, José Utreras, and Paul Roche

The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) provides free access to the world’s largest collection of planetary simulation and analysis facilities. The project is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and runs for four years from February 2020 until January 2024. The Transnational Access (TA) programme supports all travel and local accommodation costs for European and international researchers to visit 24 laboratory facilities and 5 Planetary Field Analogues (PFA) [1].

As part of the education and inspiration tasks associated with Europlanet 2024 RI, we have produced classroom resources aimed at age 10-14 year olds relating the conditions found within the PFA sites to astrobiology and the habitability of Mars.

These resources have been produced around all PFA sites:

  • Rio Tinto River (Spain)
  • Iceland Field Sites (Iceland)
  • Danakil Depression (Ethiopia)
  • Kangerlussuaq Field Site (Greenland)
  • Makgadikgadi Salt Pans (Botswana)

These resources link in with common areas found in worldwide STEM curriculums, such as volcanism, pressure, pH and evaporation. To achieve this, we have filmed lab-based demonstrations and included them in a classroom lesson plan alongside teachers' notes. In addition, each lesson plan focuses on how the conditions of the PFA’s could affect the habitability of Mars, as can be seen in Figure 1.

Following studies such as Salimpour et al 2020 [2], highlighting the extent to which astronomy has been incorporated into school curriculums, we have chosen to highlight three subject areas with lower representation in high schools into our resources; physics, space exploration and astrobiology.

As these analogue sites can be linked to more planetary bodies than just Mars, our next steps are to create similar resources based around the habitability of the icy moons of the Solar System.

Figure 1. Outline of resource plans for Europlanet Planetary Field Analogues.

References: [1] The Europlanet Society, TA1 Planetary Field Analogues (PFA). Available at: [2] Salimpour, S., Bartlett, S., Fitzgerald, M.T. et al. The Gateway Science: a Review of Astronomy in the OECD School Curricula, Including China and South Africa. Res Sci Educ (2020).

Acknowledgement: Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149.

How to cite: Cane, R., Thompson, T., Utreras, J., and Roche, P.: Educational Resources for the EPN24 Planetary Field Analogue Sites, Europlanet Science Congress 2020, online, 21 Sep–9 Oct 2020, EPSC2020-612,, 2020.

Chairperson: Caterina Boccato
Divya M Persaud and Eleanor S Armstrong

There is a pressing need for climate-friendly conferences that are accessible to different people and which can still connect scholars meaningfully. The pressure on virtual conferencing technology in a COVID-19 era, as well as the many years of disabled activism around remote access and virtual meetings, make this an even more important issue. Furthermore, the need for dynamic intersection and collaborative work between the spheres of science and technology studies (STS), environmental and other justice-based activism, and the space sciences around issues of space ethics, governance, and human rights grows more urgent.

We will discuss Space Science in Context (14th May, 2020), an experimental virtual conference aiming to bring together space scientists, activists, and STS scholars, funded through the UCL Researcher-Led Initiative Award. The conference used a flipped-classroom model for 12 invited talk videos and ~30 multimedia e-posters across three primary sessions and two e-poster sessions, and engaged ~450 attendees worldwide. Invited talks were provided with full transcripts and closed captioning by Academic Audio Transcription, a company committed to the fair employment of disabled people. On the day of the conference, the five sessions were hosted at different times in video-chat hybrid formats. We reflect on the different access-centred aspects of this experimental format and their efficacy in facilitating cross-disciplinary conversations.

How to cite: Persaud, D. M. and Armstrong, E. S.: Access-centred virtual conferencing for planetary science and beyond: reflections from Space Science in Context 2020, Europlanet Science Congress 2020, online, 21 Sep–9 Oct 2020, EPSC2020-211,, 2020.