There are lots of journals out there, more than I could name in any one article, but as you get into science communication, the number of peer-reviewed publications drops considerably.

That seems odd, since communicating with the public, and therefore with the voters on policy, is so crucial to keeping science funding in place.

A group of volunteers had that same thought, so they secured some funding from the European Space Agency's Hubble Space Telescope group and set out to fill that gap. CAP Journal was born. CAP Journal stands for Communicating Astronomy with the Public. It's a new magazine, in print and online, and the timing is excellent.

2009 has been designated the International Year of Astronomy and astronomy deals with the largest issues in the universe; is there life elsewhere? Where do we go next? What did the past look like? Without effective communication, the answers astronomers find will get mired in politics and advocacy, like global warming or any other science topic where people now discuss how to properly "frame" the debate for a public they assume too uninformed to understand real issues.

Effective communication - clear answers to complicated questions - are what we need more of in science writing. The folks at CAP set out to put a forum in place where these important issues can be addressed.

Of course, we're all about open science and science communication here. We just want to lay it out for people with no agendas, no filters and no bias. Toward that end, we always want to support other groups with the same idea, especially if they're volunteers rather than paid shills for media companies.

They asked me to contribute something, since we all have a great deal of experience communicating science to the public, so of course I did. I hope you give them a read. Issue #2 is out now and it's terrific stuff.

If you prefer the print version, you can get a subscription here.