Kirsten is the Astronomy Ambassador at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. Which means she gets to do a lot of fun things like talk about the world’s biggest radio telescope, look at the stars and share her excitement and enthusiasm for all things astronomy. She studied astronomy first, but then quickly realised she preferred talking about it rather than doing it, so she’s now a science communicator and also a qualified secondary teacher.
How does this project contribute to Seeing Science Differently?
A not-insignificant proportion of the general public still imagine astronomers and the practice of astronomy to be people sitting up all night peering through long skinny tubes at distant stars. Astrofest changes this perception almost immediately by bringing the significant astronomy going on in WA directly to the public. Visitors interact with professional astronomers, see life-size prototypes of next generation telescopes that are under construction in WA (such as the Murchison Widefield Array and SKA), and get to experience astronomy in a fun atmosphere. The word cloud to the right shows the words visitors use to describe astrofest – boring and hard/difficult don’t even feature, visitors find astronomy to be fun, interesting and educational at Astrofest, giving them a positive experience of science and the scientific community to take away from the event.