About Us

Our aims are to:

  • promote and respond to public interest in astronomy;
  • support science education;
  • promote access to the work of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

We are part of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Our core funders are:

  • The UK ATC
  • The STFC Science in Society programme.
  • The Institute for Astronomy of the University of Edinburgh

Meet the team

Dan Hillier

Dan Hillier, Head of Public Engagement with National Laboratories

I head up a group that includes the Visitor Centre team alongside teams at two other sites in the UK - at the Daresbury Laboratory, Cheshire and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire. All three sites provide large-scale technology for a wide range of UK and international scientists. Each site has a vibrant programme for the general public and schools, engaging them with the work of the Laboratories in subjects including astronomy, particle physics, material science and high-powered computing. We strive to engage with a wide range of audiences across the UK with a particular focus on improving our work with girls, with geographically remote groups and with schools in deprived areas.

Olivia Johnson

Olivia Johnson, Public Engagement Programme Manager

I joined the Visitor Centre in 2015.

Would You Like to Work With Us?

We have a team of around 12 who work on a casual basis, dealing with evening groups, helping out with visits to primary schools and assisting at our events with other partners. The team consists of retired staff of the Observatory, postgraduate and undergraduate astronomy students, amateur astronomers and other science communicators. We are always interested to hear from people who might like to join the team.

What do you need to work with us?
  • You should have enthusiasm for science, in particular astronomy, but you do not necessarily need to be an expert in astronomy - we provide training.
  • You should also have some experience of public speaking/working with the public/science communication.
What should I do if I am interested?

Email us to find out more, attaching a copy of your CV.