Astrophysicists and science enthusiasts in the community are coming together to share the wonders of our universe at Astronomy on Tap: Trenton, a free public outreach program. The initiative is organized by the Department of Astrophysical Sciences in collaboration with Trenton Social, a local bar and restaurant. At each event, two professors, postdoctoral researchers or graduate students volunteer their time to present 20-minute talks covering a range of astronomy topics. The well-attended talks are kept informal and relaxed with the speakers and audience members interacting with one another throughout the evening. The events are mostly held once a month throughout the academic year (September through June).
Astronomy on Tap (AoT) is a worldwide network of 30 branches providing a forum for astronomers to share their research with the general public. Astronomy on Tap: Trenton began hosting events in early 2019 at the suggestion of Astrophysics’ Andrés Alejandro Plazas Malagón, an associate research scholar, who observed the success of the branch he inaugurated, AoT: St. Louis. The idea of starting a branch in Trenton was well received by members in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences including Patrick Crumley, a postdoctoral research associate and the department’s designated outreach coordinator. Dr. Crumley explains, “I have been consistently impressed by the abilities of the people in the department in explaining their complicated research in simple language, and humbled by the public’s interest in our work.” Additional public outreach efforts supported by Astrophysics include monthly public observing nights; the Prison Teaching Initiative; working with local schools to bring astronomers into the classroom and participating in special events at the Princeton Public Library. The next Astronomy on Tap at Trenton Social will be held in September.
Additional information discussing the Astronomy on Tap: Trenton program appears on Princeton University’s news page. The article can be found here.