So how good was the NASA Mars Rover PR campaign?

Without doubt the best known science-related public relations initiative of the last few years was NASA’s Curiosity mission to Mars.

In recent years NASA has faced shrinking budgets, which in turn has led to a cessation of manned spaceflight within the US. Their focus has been on robotic missions to nearby planets, Messenger to Mercury, Juno to Jupiter and of course the three main Martian rover missions, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.

Curiosity had an initial launch-date of September 2009 however, due to the late delivery of components, NASA delayed the launch (NASA 2011). This may have proved to be a boon in PR terms, as Curiosity was able to ride a zeitgeist of social media when it eventually landed in 2012.

CONvergence 2013 (#cvg2013)

Hi All,

This is a bit of a cross post from my blog (www.ickletayto.com) re: my upcoming panels at  CONvergence in Minneapolis:


I’m heading to the twin cities for my most favourite of all the conventions (sorry OctoconCONvergence.

It’s all out geekery with books, films, radio plays, science, skepticism and party rooms.

I’m going to be on a number of panels, some of which are part of the SkepchickCon… So I’m super excited.

Here’s my “absolutely will be at as I am on the top table” schedule:

Thursday 4th July:

Increasing Public Engagement with Science

“We in Ireland we are proud of our reputation for creativity, for originality and for our unique and imaginative view of the world.”(Higgins, 2012)

This summer Ireland hosted the Euroscience Open Forum. This science conference had speakers from all aspects of the scientific community. From those who study the basic structure of the Universe, like Rolf-Dieter Heuer, to food specialists such as Hervé This. It is this diverse nature of science we need to communicate to the public.

Want to Start a Party?

Yesterday I read the news that Sean Sherlock had sign into law the “not” Sopa Ireland law. Despite 80,000 people saying please don’t. Despite businesses in the tech industry saying it was a bad idea. At the same time he announced a public consultation on copyright law in Ireland… Why he had to bring in the law before the consultation is beyond me, but that’s politics in Ireland..