Flamsteed Astronomy Society

New Public Astronomer joins the ROG

— August 2008

We are delighted to welcome Dr Marek Kukula, the ROG’s new Public Astronomer.  Marek’s role will be to drive the ROG’s efforts to promote the understanding of astronomy with visitors and the public at large, and also to develop the ROG’s relationship with the professional astronomy community and the media.  The Flamsteed Society very much looks forward to working with Marek both to benefit from his considerable knowledge and research experience, and also to help him in his efforts through our volunteer teams and events programme.

Specialising in the study of supermassive black holes and the evolution of galaxies, Marek has 15 years of science research in UK universities, including five years as a PPARC Advanced Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Astronomy and two years at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, home of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Marek is a member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC’s) Small Awards funding panel for public engagement in astronomy, particle and nuclear physics, covering a range of projects in museums, universities, schools and science centres. As a researcher he has successfully secured over £500,000 in research grants from the UK and US governments as well as time on the Hubble Space Telescope and other international observatories worth several £million.

Prior to joining the Royal Observatory, Marek was Course Organiser for Science and Nature at the University of Edinburgh’s Office of Lifelong Learning, where he was responsible for delivering a broad programme science education courses for the general public. Previously he was a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, carrying out research into quasars, black holes and distant galaxies and developing astronomy teaching materials for secondary schools and training courses for Physics teachers. Marek also worked with Researchers in Residence, a UK-wide scheme funded by Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust, which matches young researchers with local secondary schools and trains them to bring their enthusiasm and knowledge into the classroom.

Marek says "‘We are currently in an extremely exciting period for astronomy, with spectacular new discoveries being made almost every day.   I hope I can convey some of that excitement and help to explain how modern astronomy continues to change our view of the Universe and our place within it."

Initially Marek will be working as part of Sarah Lockwood’s Education team at the ROG/NMM.

Read more about Marek —

Full NMM press release

BBC’s report.

Scientific Commons list of publications


Dr Marek Kukula © NMM