Impact of Exoplanet Science in the Early Twenty-First Century
The impact of exoplanet science at the beginning of the twenty-first century is studied from two different approaches: the impact in astronomical science both by professionals and citizen scientists and through public outreach. The impact of exoplanetology on the scientific community as well as on the informed public is presented by several indicators and examples. Currently about 3% of all refereed articles in astronomy are focused on exoplanets, whereas about a quarter of the science cases for very large multipurpose astronomical instruments is based on exoplanet science. Interactions with the public occur on several levels; we present an overview of exoplanet-related citizen science and discuss the influence of the public’s exposure to media coverage about exoplanets and life in the universe. This influence is changing the public’s perception about the uniqueness of our Earth and about the presence of extraterrestrial life. In turn, this perception affects the public support for the research infrastructure that is necessary to maintain the growth of the field of exoplanetology. Also, an interactive process between exoplanet science and the public through IAU’s NameExoWorlds Contest is presented in detail.
KeywordsExoplanetology Planetary systems Sociology of astronomy publications bibliography History and philosophy of astronomy
We want to thank the Spanish institutions who supported the Cervantine candidature, notably for their kind offer to use all the relevant material produced for the IAU naming contest. HD acknowledges support by grant ESP2015-65712-C5-4-R of the Spanish Secretary of State for R&D&i (MINECO).
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