I started doing occasional public talks and running the odd event during my PhD at Jodrell Bank Observatory way back in 2004, trying to overcome my serious fear of public speaking. During the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 (and until I moved back to Europe in 2011) I was the Outreach Coordinator of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy in Perth, Australia, organising large events and travelling exhibitions, field trips to remote communities, and coordinating a series of talks across the metro area. Over the last few years, since moving back to Manchester, I have become an accomplished speaker, performing at some of the UK’s largest astronomy events and festivals.
11th to 13th August 2017 – Festival (Wales): The Solarsphere astronomy and music festival, Builth Wells, Wales.
29th June 2017 – Science Festival (Lancashire): Demos on the physics and astronomy stand at the annual Lancashire Science Festival, UCLan, Preston.
10th June 2017 – Workshop (Lancashire): Two Rocket workshops in the Harris Museum’s Maker Space.
31st May 2017 – Lecture (Cheshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Chester Astronomical Society.
20th May 2017 – Presentation (Shropshire): presenting astrophotography awards at Shropshire Astronomical Society.
2nd May 2017 – SciBAr (Cheshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Chester SciBAr.
10th February 2017 – School visit (Cheshire): “Around the Universe in 60 minutes”, astronomy and space talks for three classes at St John’s Primary School.
19th January 2017 – Lecture (Yorkshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Wakefield Astronomical Society.
14th December – SciBAr (Cheshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Widnes SciBAr.
18th November 2016 – Lecture (Yorkshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at York Astronomical Society.
4th November 2016 – Lecture (Cheshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Altricham and District Astronomical Society.
20th October 2016 – Lecture (Cheshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at SCASTRO, Crewe.
7th October 2016 – Lecture (Cumbria): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Furness and South Lakes Astronomical Society.
12-14th August 2016 – Solarsphere Festival (Wales): possibly the planet’s only astronomy and music festival, Solarsphere, returns to Builth Wells. I’ll be there, giving a lecture.
— SoapBox Science (@SoapboxScience) July 23, 2016
16th July 2015 – Lecture (Shropshire): Invited lecture at the Shropshire Astronomical Society’s Summer Social.
20th June 2016 – Lecture (Cheshire): “Around the Universe in 60 minutes” at Macclesfield’s Barnacy SciBAr. Park Tavern, 6.30pm.
17-26th June 2016 – Barnaby Festival (Macclesfield): Macclesfield’s bi-annual festival, which in 2016 will have SPACE! as the theme. I was part of the live events team and helped to secure funding for the science strand, and I was part of several events over the festival period.
17th June 2016 – School’s event (NW): Meet the expert event at Catalyst science centre.
11th June 2016 – Teacher training (Altrincham): Invited to give a lecture on using high resolution radio astronomy to probe the distant universe to newly-qualified physics teachers at a new teacher subject day run by the Prince’s Teaching Institute.
16-20 May 2016 – CAP conference (Colombia): Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference, Medellín, Colombia. I gave a talk about the Solarsphere astronomy and music festival.
8th April 2016 – Lecture (West Yorkshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Huddersfield Astronomical Society.
25-28th March 2016 – Convention (Manchester): Panel session (“Jodrell Bank Explores the Universe”) at Mancunion.
14th March 2016 – Lecture (West Yorkshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at Bradford Astronomical Society.
28th February 2016 – Jodcast Live! (Cheshire): Live recording of the Jodcast, with a studio audience, at Jodrell Bank to celebrate the tenth anniversary.
11th February 2016 – Lecture (Cheshire): “The Modern Universe” at High Legh Community Observatory.
5-6th February 2016 – Astrofest (London): Lecture, “When Galaxies Collide!”, at Astronomy Now’s Astrofest.
15th December 2015 – SciBAr (Cheshire): “Around the Universe in 60 minutes” at the Wilmslow SciBAr, The Old Dancer 7.30pm.
18th November 2015 – Nuffield event (Manchester): helping judge presentations of high school students involved in the annual summer research placement scheme organised by the Nuffield Foundation.
10th November 2015 – RAS Public Lecture (London): I gave two (fully-booked!) lectures at the RAS in London, talking about what happens “When Galaxies Collide!” Location: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. Times: 1pm and 6pm (see the RAS events page for details).
26th October 2015 – Short talk (Manchester): “When Galaxies Collide!” as part of the Best of 2015 Mini Pint of Science evening, part of Manchester Science Festival. Location: Pub/Zoo, 126 Grosvenor Street, Manchester. Doors open 6.30pm. Tickets: £3.
3rd October 2015 – Lecture (Warwickshire): Lecture (the kaleidoscopic universe) at the UK International Astronomy Show, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.
14-16th August 2015 – SolarSphere (Wales): Astronomy/music festival. Details and tickets available from the SolarSphere website. I ran rocketry workshops (together with AstroCymru), gave a lecture (When Galaxies Collide!), and was on the panel for the Q&A session. Also on the line-up were astro-journalist Will Gater, planetary imager extraordinaire Damian Peach, and the always excellent Dr Lucie Green.
18th July 2015 – Lecture (Shropshire): Invited lecture at the Shropshire Astronomical Society’s Summer Social, “The Kaleidoscopic Universe”.
5-9 July 2015 – National Astronomy Meeting (Wales): Speaking in both the e-MERLIN (NGC660) and Outreach (IMO fireball form) sessions of the UK’s National Astronomy Meeting, this year held in Llandudno.
18-19 June 2015 – BSA Sci Com Conference: Awarded a bursary to attend the British Science Association’s Science Communication Conference.
8th June 2015 – SciBAr (Cheshire): “When Galaxies Collide!” at the Bollington SciBAr, The Vale, Bollington, 6.30pm.
18th May 2015 – Lecture (Manchester): I gave a talk as part of the international Pint of Science festival, at the Nano to Astro: Extreme Scales” evening, talking about When Galaxies Collide! The Red Lion, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester. This event has now sold out.
28th March 2015 – Convention (Cambridge): SPA convention.
23rd March 2015 – Lecture (Cheshire): Invited lecture at the science group of the Wilmslow branch of the University of the Third Age.
20th March 2015 – Eclipse and Jupiter (Clitheroe): Eclipse talk (Friday) and Jupiter viewing (Saturday) for the Waddow Singing Circle.
20th March 2015 – Eclipse viewing (Cheshire): Visiting my old primary school to do the morning assembly and some safe solar eclipse viewing at the KS2 morning assembly.
13th March 2015 – School visit (Cheshire): “Around the Universe in 60 minutes” at a local primary school.
6th March 2015 – Lecture (Elgin): Invited lecture at Moray’s Astronomy Club, Sigma, “When Galaxies Collide!“.
3rd March 2015 – School visit (Stockport): “Around the Universe in 60 minutes” for two reception classes.
2nd February 2015 – Lecture (Kendal): Invited lecture at Eddington Astronomical Society, “When Galaxies Collide!“.
31st January 2015 – SPA meeting (London): council and general meeting of the Society for Popular Astronomy.
1st December – School visit (Oldham): Astronomy activities for ∼360 children at Holy Cross primary school.
24th November 2014 – SciBar (Manchester): “When Galaxies Collides!” at the Salutation, 5.30pm. A blog post about the evening.
19th November 2014 – Youth group (Cheshire): Astronomy evening for Poynton Brownies.
10th November 2014 – Lecture (Manchester): Invited lecture at West Didsbury Astronomical Society, “When Galaxies Collide!”.
3rd November 2014 – Youth group (Cheshire): Astronomy evening for Kingsley and Norley Guides.
28th October 2014 – U3A (Macclesfield): Invited lecture to the local University of the Third Age science and engineering group.
18th October 2014 – Starting from Scratch (Batley): Lectures and astronomical discussions from four SPA lecturers (including me!) at the Starting from Scratch day, run by the Society for Popular Astronomy. Details and booking info.
1 September 2014 – SciBar (Knutsford): “When Galaxies Collide!” at the Knutsford SciBar, Knutsford Sports Club, 7.30pm. Feedback forms returned by the audience said (where 1 = very poor, 5 = excellent): Informative 4.84, Enjoyable 4.7, Stimulating 4.7, Participation 4.7, Overall 4.5. Comments included “A very successful and entertaining evening”, “WOW!”, “excellent”, “superb presentation”. When asked what they liked most about the evening, five people put “the speaker”.
30th August 2014 – SPA Council (London): special session of Council.
2nd August 2014 – Lecture (Rodington, Shropshire): Invited lecture, When Galaxies Collide, at Shropshire Astronomical Society. Blog post about the evening.
26th July 2014 – SPA meeting (London): council and general meeting of the Society for Popular Astronomy.
15th July 2014 – Lecture (Macclesfield): Invited lecture at Macclefield Astronomical Society, “Going over galaxies with a fine-toothed comb”.
22nd June 2014 – Barnaby Festival (Macclesfield): Some science busking, rocketry, and astronomy in the Science Pod at the Hive of Industry event at Macclesfield’s annual festival. I also played in the parade as part of the Macclesfield School of Samba on Saturday June 21st.
25th May 2014 – Bollington Festival (Bollington): Lecture, “Around the Universe in 60 minutes”, for the general public as part of the festival’s star party event. I will also be playing the parade as part of the Bollington School of Samba on Saturday May 17th.
4th May 2014 – Tea & Talk at ArtSpace (Macclesfield): A short talk, “When Galaxies collide!”, over tea and cake at Artspace, Macclesfield. Poster artwork. Here is a review posted to the ArtSpace blog after the event:
“Dr Megan Argo, astrophysicist from Jodrell Bank, amazed and wowed us with a brief traverse across the universe taking in the processes of stars being born then dying and galaxies forming and then colliding, all with some stunning illustrations from optical and radio telescopes – our heads were spinning (like the stars it seems) – only the tea and cakes kept us down to earth!” (read the rest)
27th April 2014 – Treacle Market (Macclesfield): Some science busking at Macclesfield’s monthly lively local market.
26th April 2014 – SPA Council and general meeting (London): invited to visit the Council of the Society for Popular Astronomy.
20 February 2014 – Kid’s star party (Macclesfield): Tour of the Universe talk and solar system activity at the Macclesfield Astronomical Society Kid’s Star Party at Macclesfield football ground. “Dr Megan Argo will kick off the evening with an interactive talk called “Around the Universe in a Flash”. Megan is a skilled speaker with experience of inspiring children through her outreach activities to school, brownies, cubs and scouts!” Book here.
Event feedback: “It catered for all ages and abilities with an interest in astronomy. The speaker had a passion which came over and made her very easy to listen to. My granddaughter and I both really enjoyed it and she hasn’t stopped talking about it.” “My 5 year old was gripped from the start he sat and listened for 30 mins and asked questions to his grandad (who he went with) when the talk had finished” “Informative and interesting talk followed by great activities lead by enthusiasts”
February 2014 – Immersive Theatre’s Night Sky podcast: Guest presenter on the Immersive Theatre’s Night Sky podcast, talking about the night sky for February, and supernova 2014J in M82.
11th January 2014: Solar system demos and general astronomy demos at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, as part of the Stargazing Live events programme.
13th & 20th November 2013 Brownie group: Observing and activities for the Stargazer’s badge at St John’s Brownies, Macclesfield.
9th November 2013 Lecture at the Tegg’s Nose Star Party: Lecture, “supernovae and other explosions”, at a public star party organised by Macclesfield Astronomical Society and held at the ranger hut at Tegg’s Nose country park.
2009 to 2014 Astronomy.FM: Guest and presenter on the internet’s only dedicated astronomy station, Astronomy FM.
2011 to 2013 CAMRAS (Netherlands): Member of the amateur group operating and maintaining the 25-m Dwingeloo radio telescope. Assisted with several events, including hekvertelling, open weekends, school groups.
2010 to 2011 Guerilla Astronomy (Australia): Co-founded the guerilla astronomy events in Perth, unadvertised public telescope viewings in busy areas of the city.
13th to 22nd August 2010 National Science Week (Australia): Touring exhibition on radio astronomy, the Murchison Widefield Array and the Square Kilometre Array. Visited Joondalup, Perth CBD, Geraldton, New Norcia (ESA tracking station) and Badgingarra.
27th July 2010 Profs & Pints (Australia): Panel member, science in the pub event, talking astronomy and how awesome the cosmos is. Webcast and podcasted by the ABC.
22nd June 2010 Science Awareness Festival (Karratha, Australia): Stall with talks and radio astronomy demos for >500 school kids in Karratha, Western Australia.
25th February and 15th May 2010 UNAWE link-up for ISKAF2010: Astronomy workshop at the Carnarvon School of the Air in Western Australia (February), followed by a video link-up between Carnarvon and schools in South Africa and the Netherlands, part of an outreach project and cultural exchange for the International Square Kilometre Array Forum.
28th November 2009 Astrofest: Western Australia’s finale to the International Year of Astronomy, attracting >4000 people. Co-organiser and CUrtin point of contact.
2nd to 6th November 2009 Midwest outreach tour: Road trip to remote schools in Western Australia, vising Yulga Jinna, Meekatharra and Cue. Telescope sessions, classroom activities and teacher training.
23rd August 2009 WAATA (The West Australian Association of Teacher Assistants) conference: Talk and solar scope demonstration during professional development workshop.
18th & 19th August 2009 Midwest schools visit: Telescopes and observing nights plus teacher professional development sessions at Yalgoo (including staff and students from Pia and Sandstone schools).
30th June 2009 Observing night at Boolardy station: Telescopes, activities and observing night for Meekatharra School of the Air, camping at Boolardy station.
12th May 2009 Triple-S Science Fair: Ice cream comets, Murchison Widefield Array dipole demonstration, 16-inch telescope viewing at the public Triple-S science fair held at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, Mosman Park.
2nd to 5th April 2009 100 Hours of Astronomy events: Organised and participated in several events held as part of the IYA event 100 Hours of Astronomy including: Space Pirates (Little Creatures, Fremantle), Big Scopes on the Beach (City Beach, Perth), teacher PD at the Primary Science Conference (Perth), solar viewing at SUNday (Kings Park, Perth).
24th to 27th March 2009 Ilgarijiri project field trip: Participated in a field trip to the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory with a dozen Aboriginal artists and two other astronomers. Cultural exchange including star parties, observing and storytelling at Mullewa and Boolardy station. Resulted in a highly successful art exhibition, my photos were used in much of the advertising and promotional material.
26th January 2009 Australia Day Eclipse: Took a telescope down to the riverside park in South Perth to show people the Sun in projection during the partial solar eclipse which coincided with Australia Day celebrations. Spoke to about 500 people over the afternoon.
9th to 12th January 2009 Jamboree (Australia): Astronomy activities including evening observing with a 16-inch Dobsonian, at the Venture’s Jamboree at Fairbridge, Western Australia.
2007 50th anniversary of the Lovell telescope: Several activities (open weekends, star parties) at Jodrell Bank as part of the 50th celebrations.