Epod s first 5 years turn eso s outreach into a light house for science communication
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ePOD’s first 5-years: Turn ESO’s outreach into a light-house for science communication!. ePOD’s next 5-years: To make ESO a household science brand in the eyes of the Member State tax-payers and worldwide!. ePOD’s First 5 years. Lars Lindberg Christensen, Head of ePOD lars@eso.org.

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Epod s first 5 years turn eso s outreach into a light house for science communication

ePOD’s first 5-years:

Turn ESO’s outreach into a light-house for science communication!

Epod s first 5 years turn eso s outreach into a light house for science communication

ePOD’s next 5-years:

To make ESO a household science brand in the eyes of the Member State tax-payers and worldwide!

Epod s first 5 years

ePOD’s First 5 years

Lars Lindberg Christensen, Head of ePOD


Epod mission
ePOD Mission


  • Position ESO in public opinion as the most productive ground-based observatory in the world

  • Increase the awareness of ESO and ESO’s projects through production of excellent education and public outreach (EPO) materials targeted towards:

    • Lay people/tax payers in ESO member states, potential member states and worldwide

    • Mass media and new media representatives

    • Decision makers and industry players

    • Educators (both institutions and teachers)

    • ESO user community (students, scientists etc.)

  • Propagate the awareness that Europe is the world-leader in ground-based astronomy with ESO

  • Also: European Space Agency/Hubble and International Astronomical Union, astronomy in Europe, general astronomy communication (previously also through IYA2009).

The news
The News

  • Press releases (“Science”, “Organisation”, and “Photo”), Announcements, Pictures of the Week:

    • ESO: 53 releases, 103 announcements, 53 PotWs in 2012.

    • ESA/Hubble: 21 releases, 19 announcements, 53 PotWs in 2012.

    • IAU: 6 releases in 2012.

  • Supported by images, illustrations, and HD video.

  • Virtual press conferences with Adobe Connect for the biggest stories.

News end to end
News End-to-End

  • Workflow well established

  • Thorough evaluation during initiation

  • Newsteam discussion

  • PI involvement and approval

  • Science Liaison evaluation

  • ESON evaluation

  • Post-release evaluation of impact

The print
The Print

  • All our products online.

  • Books: e.g. Europe to the Stars, The Jewel on the Mountaintop, Eyes on the Skies, Hidden Universe, Cosmic Collisions.

  • Brochures, postcards, stickers, handouts, technical documents, other merchandise.

  • Periodicals: Messenger, CAPjournal, Annual Report.

Print end to end
Print End-to-End

  • Needs determined via

    • Inventory status

    • New ideas

    • Distribution plan

  • Procurement info preserved => full handle on pricing (!)

  • Workflow extremely well established

Distribution promotion end to end
Distribution, promotion End-to-End

  • 600 distribution tasks, 500 shop orders in 2012

  • Full inventory overviews Garching and Chile

  • Stocks determine reprinting cycle

  • Distribution plans for each medium-sized product and up

  • Every target group corresponds to a Contact Group in the Address Database

  • Each big product has a promotion plan using our standard news items and triggers Contact Groups updates and expansions

  • Social Media, Partnership is an area of strong growth

  • Visitor Centre era

Audiovisual products
Audiovisual products

  • Video podcasts: ESOcasts, Hubblecasts, now subtitled in multiple languages.

  • Video visualisations.

  • Europe to the Stars movie.

  • Virtual tours.

  • Image gallery.

  • Video gallery.

  • 715 subtitles.

Eso 50 th anniversary
ESO 50th Anniversary

  • Europe to the Stars movie and book, The Jewel on the Mountaintop book

  • Choose What the VLT Observes and Tweet Your Way to the VLT! competitions

  • Awesome Universe exhibition campaign

  • Anniversary events with ESO speakers at international venues

  • A Day in the Life of ESO live webcast

The exhibitions
The Exhibitions

  • Due to cut-backs, no exhibitions in Europe from 2013

  • Nominal exhibition activities continue in Chile

  • Permanent ESO exhibitions: at Deutsches Museum in Munich, MIM Interactive Museum, Antofagasta Ruinas de Huanchaca, Taltal, Paranal, La Silla etc.

  • Excellent temporary exhibitions to support ESO Representation towards decision-makers, like the CELAC-EU Summit

  • Visitor Centre at HQ (!)

The visits
The Visits

  • Media visits to sites: IMAX Hidden Universe, National Geographic World’s Toughest Fixes, Monster Moves, Quantum of Solace, etc.

  • VIP visits to sites: Summit of the Pacific Alliance, King of Spain, etc.

  • Almost 8000 public visitors/year to La Silla-Paranal.

The visits end to end
The Visits: End-to-End

  • One entry point for most media visits: the media visits form

  • Thorough, consistent evaluation of the return on investment

  • All unusual requests are evaluated with the special untraditional visits evaluation workflow

  • Visibility benefits for ESO are being requested either informally or via an agreement (using a guideline)

  • All information, incl. Safety and release forms, now online in English and Spanish

  • Fun fact: a one-week media visit for 2 journalists costs us ~5000 euro to arrange and implement

The web
The Web

  • Continuous development of our online EPO digital assets management system

  • Every single product we produce is published through this highly sophisticated, efficient and tailored system

  • Integrated with/leading the standardised ePOD workflows

  • Increase in numbers of resolved tasks with time

  • Impressive stats

Astronomical images end to end
Astronomical Images: End-to-End

  • Dedicated work producing stunning astronomical images:

    • Coordinated scouting of data from archives.

    • Astronomical image processing.

    • Conversion from FITS (“Liberation”) to bring out the best in the data.

    • Combination of multiple datasets.

    • Further cleaning, colours, and processing in Photoshop, using colour calibrated monitors.

  • These are often the best available outreach images of the astronomical target.

  • Acquisition through the Cosmic Gems project, v2 ongoing

Photos end to end
Photos: End-to-End

  • Historical digitization project concluded

  • Acquisition through

    • Your ESO Pictures Flickr group

    • Photo Ambassadors

    • Media visits win-win partnerships

  • Evaluation for PotW, Online, Master archive

  • Colour Correction

  • Upload

  • Captioning + metadata

  • Very well-functioning workflow

  • 7803 images, 2133 videos

Eson 2013
ESON 2013

  • Representatives at national level in Member States and other countries.

  • Press releases now available in 19 languages

  • ESON “micro-sites” in 8 additional languages

Eson 20131
ESON 2013

  • Solid system, very successful, steadily expanding with new countries

  • Press releases Staging

  • Announcements Staging

  • PotW Staging

  • ESON is by far the best national network anywhere!

Closing words
Closing words

  • After almost 5 years ePOD is at its halfway point in making ESO a household science brand

  • We now have a real End-to-End data-driven production

  • We have the best people in the business

  • We are still missing some crucial target groups and recently have had to down-prioritise those

  • We are feeling the economic austerity in the Members States

  • But we have exciting new projects

  • And we are on the right track and are well on the way

  • Partly thanks to your hard work!

    Thank you!