Europlanet expert exchange – Anastasia Kokori visits UCL
November 19, 2017

Europlanet expert exchange for journalists and science communicators:
Anastasia Kokori visits UCL

In May, Europlanet issued a special call of its expert exchange programme with the aim of inviting journalists, science communicators or lecturers in journalism to spend a few days in a Europlanet 2020 RI laboratory. The objective of the programme is to enable participants to find out more about planetary science, how science is carried out and the life of scientists, and also help scientists to understand how the media works and the world of journalism. 

In the first of these expert exchanges, Anastasia Kokori visited University College London (UCL) in November 2017. 

Read Anastasia’s articles about the visit:
We’ve said goodbye to Cassini. What comes next?

Space missions looking at worlds beyond the Earth

My name is Anastasia Kokori and I am a recent graduate with a masters’ degree in Science Communication from Dublin City University (2017).  In the context of my post-graduate studies, I carried out my internship at Blackrock Castle Observatory (Cork, Ireland) as a science communicator and also I conducted my master thesis entitled “Engaging society with science: The case of Danakil Depression”. In my thesis, I developed strategies for an effective communication of contemporary scientific topics such as astrobiological issues and experiments on the extreme limits.

In addition, during my undergraduate studies in the School of Primary Education of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2015), I used the astronomical equipment that belongs to the Holomon Astronomical Station in the context of my undergraduate thesis entitled “Extrasolar Planetary Systems”.

I also hold a Journalism Diploma (2015) and I love popularizing scientific topics to the public, especially in the field of space and astrophysics. Today, I am involved in efforts that bring the public closer to science through innovative projects where people can participate in real research and get informed about extrasolar planets and life on other planets. My main work and research interests include the public engagement with astronomy and astrobiology and the development of effective strategies to communicate astronomy to the public.

In the context of the expert exchange project in the department of astrophysics at UCL, I’ve met various researchers of the astrophysics department and discussed their research, and science communication as well. I’ve attended astrophysics seminars and I’ve interviewed scientists belonging to different groups. I will be writing articles based on their research in relation to upcoming space missions with the aim of bringing their scientific work closer to the public. I’ve also visited the UCLO (observatory) where I met the co-ordinators and we started to develop a fruitful conversation on public engagement and astronomy outreach.

This expert exchange has been funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208, Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure.