Research Training Network - FP6

Management and feasibility

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Dissemination Actions

The final results will be made available to the general community through peer-reviewed publications, presentations at international conferences, and the consortium’s website. In addition, the results will be included in relevant molecular astrophysics databases where they can be accessed and downloaded by the whole scientific community: 1) the UMIST chemical reaction rates database; 2) CDMS: the Cologne Database for Molecular Spectroscopy; 3) BASECOL: the collisional excitation rate database. These databases are freely accessible. We will also freely provide the software tools developed for molecular astrophysics in the Cassis project. The issue of interoperability between all those resources will be addressed within the context of Virtual Observatories. Dissemination of the results within the consortium and to the wider community, organizing the web interfaces, and linking the team’s websites will be a major effort of the consortium. The Deputy Network Co-ordinator—who is already very active in this area—will take full responsibility for this aspect. The dissemination of the results of the consortium will be coordinated with the European agencies (ESA, ESO) involved in the new observatories that will come on line.

A major conference at the end of the project will also be organised in order to advertise more widely the achievements of the project.

As a long-term investment, a “Summer School” for High School students in the year preceding their graduation will be organised. This weeklong class will introduce these students to the sciences and, hopefully, entice them to take a university education in the physical sciences. The program will include introductory classes in astronomy, physics, and chemistry. In addition, there will be hands-on laboratory and/or observational assignments. The results of these experiments will be compared to theoretical studies. Existing Dutch experience with High School summer schools will be made available to the consortium. The consortium will also organize a network-wide Summer School for undergraduate students in the last year of their master studies to introduce them to the diverse research in the field of molecular astrophysics, and the opportunities within the project. This Summer School will be widely advertised in Europe and will be offered to students in astronomy, molecular physics, and chemistry. This will provide a very effective way to solicit new graduate students, train them in the techniques and methods in this field, and, in every way, will provide them with a “flying” start in the project.

In addition, the teams involved in this network are very active in spreading awareness of science and knowledge to society at all levels, in particular to various levels of the education system (elementary schools, high schools). These activities include site visits of schools and aspiring students, creation and distribution of CD-ROMs with scientific results geared towards education, and popular talks for schools and amateur astronomical organizations.