We present a case study of physicists’ and astronomers’ attitudes towards education and public outreach (EPO) using 131 survey responses from members of the Dark Energy Survey. We find a disparity between the types of EPO activities scientists deem valuable and those in which they participate. Most respondents are motivated to engage in EPO by a desire to educate the public. Lack of time is the main deterrent to engagement, but a perceived cultural stigma surrounding EPO is also a factor. We explore the value of centralized EPO efforts and conclude with a list of recommendations for increasing scientists’ engagement.
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As a complement to the article, we provide the survey used for the analysis as well as the anonymized survey results. We emphasize that 1) the survey was designed by the authors for the purpose of the exploratory analysis and 2) the data are provided for other researchers who may be interested in studying the dataset or combining with other similar datasets. Questions regarding the survey or published data should be directed to Rachel Wolf (email@example.com), Ravi Gupta (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Christina Krawiec (email@example.com).
To download the survey, click here.
Note: The survey mistakenly quotes the Burns article year as 2012, when it should be 2003. This was clarified for collaboration members who asked for more information.
The data provided have been anonymized. Any information supplied by a respondent that could be used to determine respondent identity has been removed. Therefore, the following changes were made:
- Removed all free-response answers.
- Removed gender.
- Removed age.
- Removed ethnicity.
- Removed home institution.
- Modified DES Status: The available options for respondents were “Active Member”, “Former Member”, and “Other” (in which respondents could write in a response). Here we keep the “Active Member” responses and group “Former Member” and all other responses into a new “Other” category.
- Modified Current Position: All respondents who did not identify as “Graduate Student”, “Post-Doc”, “Faculty/Professor”, or “Staff Scientist” are grouped into a new “Other” category.
To download the data, click here.