The Dark Energy Survey: Education and Public Outreach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Abstract

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is the leading ground-based cosmology experiment in the world at the moment. This 100 million dollar project was 10 years in the making, but is now well underway.

What is DES? It is six year study of the southern sky that will test cosmology to unprecedented precision. It uses a 520 Megapixel digital camera (DECam) that is mounted on the 4 metre (``Blanco'') optical telescope at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in the Chilean Andes. Not only will DES make an impact in cosmology, it will also generate a wealth of discoveries in other areas, e.g. objects in the distant solar system, new companions to the Milky Way, distant black holes, etc.

The UK has been involved in DES since the project started. There are over 300 scientists in the international DES collaboration, of which almost 100 are in the UK (the remainder are in the USA, Spain, Chile, Brazil, Germany, and Switzerland).

DES has enormous potential for public engagement: not only are the concepts behind dark energy in themselves hugely compelling, we routinely generate fabulous images that capture the public's imagination.

It is essential that more time and effort goes into DES E/PO now, because the survey will be reaching its peak science productivity within the next two years. Just as DES is winding down, LSST will be nearing completion. As many of the E/PO materials developed for DES can be transferred directly to LSST, the impact of this fellowship will last for many years to come.

There are three, interlinked, aspects to my proposal: Improving the Dark Energy Survey webpages; Increasing the impact of Dark Energy Survey social media; Increasing the reach and significance of the Dark Energy Survey on UK society. The first two aspects have a global reach, the third is UK centric. The underlying theme is that by exploiting the creative talents of DES members world wide, I will be able to enhance STFC related E/PO significantly across the UK.

Publications


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Agnello A (2015) Discovery of two gravitationally lensed quasars in the Dark Energy Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Agnello A. (2015) Discovery of two gravitationally lensed quasars in the Dark Energy Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
AMI Consortium AMI (2013) Sunyaev-Zel'dovich observations with AMI of the hottest galaxy clusters detected in the XMM-Newton Cluster Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Balbinot E. (2016) The Phoenix Stream: A Cold Stream in the Southern Hemisphere in The Astrophysical Journal
Baxter E. (2016) Joint measurement of lensing-galaxy correlations using SPT and DES SV data in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
 
Title Constellations 
Description Science consultant for Constellations, a new play by Nick Payne 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact sold out West End play, Best New Play Award from Evening Standard, successful run on Broadway, successful UK tour 
 
Title DES artwork 
Description A print of Brighton Pier with the first light galaxy from DES featured (by Michelle Dawson) 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Increased sales for artist 
 
Title DES artwork 
Description A print of Worthing Pier with DES "Christmas Comet" featured (by Michelle Dawson) prints and greetings cards 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Increased sales for artist 
 
Title DES pewter phone charm 
Description Pewter artist Fleur Grenier made a phone charm with the DES symbol and an equation. These were handed out to all participants at the DES@sussex meeting. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Fleur made sales of her other artworks 
 
Title Dark Energy Glove 
Description Dark Energy gloves (by LoveLoli) 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact increased knowledge of LoveLoli products 
 
Description How to engage lots of scientists in E/PO
Exploitation Route We are writing up a paper to share our experience of EPO with DES.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
URL http://www.darkenergysurvey.org
 
Description See publication engagement and arts sections.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural
 
Title DESSV 
Description DES-SV public data release 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Facilitated research by people outside DES. 
URL https://des.ncsa.illinois.edu/releases/sva1
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation Fermilab
Department Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Country United States of America 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation Stanford University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Department Physics Department
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of Michigan
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description Dark Energy Survey 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead the Cluster Working Group (and make many other contributions eg EPO, survey strategy, membership...).
Collaborator Contribution The partners are responsible for other science areas, for building, running and maintaining the camera, for data processing. I have only listed the institutes where I have close collaborators. There are many other institutes that contribute to DES.
Impact Papers, public outreach, a facility instrument, PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Liverpool John Moores University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich)
Country Germany, Federal Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Department Physics Department
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of KwaZulu-Natal
Department Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit
Country South Africa, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Michigan
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Porto
Country Portugal, Portuguese Republic 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Department Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description XMM Cluster Survey 
Organisation University of Uppsala
Department Department of Biology
Country Sweden, Kingdom of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific leadership and collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration
Impact ~25 journal articles, 12 PhD theses
 
Description Articles in magazines 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Romer's research has features in various publications including: Viva Lewis, Space magazine, Financial Times, Argus, Womanthology, WISE People Like Me, Daily Mail

don't know
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
 
Description Astronomy Master Class 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Romer's research has been featured at the Department's Astronomy Master Class (annual event in December, plus occasional repeats in other months for smaller groups).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description Participation in BBC Nature programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I don't know how large the audience was, but I have had more than 100 queries from members of the public (mostly UK and USA, but also India and Australia)

I have been invited to give a public talks by a variety of organisations, including science festivals. These are mostly in the local area, but also in Cambridge, Oxford and Bath.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
 
Description School visits/interactions various locations in SE England 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact total of ~300 pupils (in groups ranging in size from 10 to 100), plenty of discussions afterwards


I helped a school attract speakers for their science enhancement programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
 
Description Schools Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Romer's research has been featured during at least once per year at the Department's regular Schools Lab events for Y11, Y12, Y13 physics pupils.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Science Festivals 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Romer's research has been presented at Science Festivals (Brighton and Lewes) through hands on activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Soap Box Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Soap Box Science - Newcastle 2015; London 2015; London 2017. Also part of organising committee for SBS Brighton 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2017
 
Description Star Gazing Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact SGL on campus: plenary talks in 2015, interactive activities in 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Star Gazing Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Romer's research on cosmology has been featured at Star Gazing Live. This includes, hands on activities, public talks and workshops with school groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description media engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Romer has interacted with the media in relation to her role in DES EPO: e.g. queries from Nature
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description talks to members of the public (various locations in UK, also in Arizona, Michigan and Chile) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Romer has presented her research in public talks to a wide range of audiences (in groups ranging in size from 30 to 200): Astronomy Societies; Science Festivals; Astronomy Festivals; Science clubs (Cafe Scientifique etc.)

none
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013