The art of hitting the right level, no matter the audience!

Astronomy for any audience
skills development making a difference

March 2022:
Thank you for your presentation today. It really was a terrifically entertaining talk, well-constructed, well-researched, lots of great images, footage and variety. It engaged the senses and told an important story about our RAN [Royal Australian Navy] and Australia's Antarctic efforts. We all enjoyed it thoroughly. ... Your expertise is very much valued and your communication skills superb.
Senior curator, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
February 2022:
Our Club has been fortunate over the years to have had a number of speakers from the ANMM. January last year you were good enough to arrange for Richard de Grijs to come and his topic From the First Fleet to the Harbour Bridge -- Sydney's astronomical beginnings was an outstanding presentation enjoyed by all present.
Meetings organiser, Barra Brui Probus Club, Sydney
Feedback following an online presentation, October 2021:
Thank you so much! I learned so much today!
Attendee, webinar to the University of the Philippines, Manila
Feedback following an online presentation, October 2021:
Very well researched and presented talk. Many thanks.
Great presentation, thank you!!
Very informative and great presentation. Thank you all.
Attendees, lecture to the Naval Historical Society of Australia
Feedback following an online presentation, August 2021:
Very interesting talk! Thanks Richard
So interesting!! Thanks a lot.
What an interesting presentation on a topic of which I have heard nothing (Wyatt Earp -- the ship, not the person!) Thank you Richard
Attendees, 2-hour lecture to University of the Third Age, Epping (Sydney)

Wow! Looks like we have another great resource for U3A, I had no doubts!
Organiser, 2-hour lecture to University of the Third Age, Epping (Sydney)

Feedback following an online presentation, May 2021:
Thank you, both topics were extremely interesting. Not a topic I have any prior knowledge of but now I do, which will make visiting the Maritime Museum more interesting. Thank you.
Attendee, 2-hour lecture to University of the Third Age, Leichhardt (Sydney)
Feedback following an online presentation, May 2021:
Very very interesting!
Attendee, lecture to physics students at Pabna University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh
Feedback following an online presentation, March 2021:
I don't want this talk to end -- brilliant!
Attendee, "Fred Watson Presents"
A note to thank you again for a great talk last night -- most enjoyable, and you certainly wowed everyone judging by the comments in the chat.
Organiser, "Fred Watson Presents"
Unsolicited feedback, March 2021:
You are one of the class acts in astronomy and your presence is always enlightening!
Senior Canadian colleague
Probus Barra Bui, North Turramurra (Sydney), February 2021:
Last Friday we had Richard de Grijs, a volunteer with the Maritime Museum’s speakers program and he was one of the very best entertaining and informative speakers we’ve ever had. ... He spoke without notes and had a wide range of well prepared visuals drawn from a large range of historical sources.
Meetings organiser
Probus West Pennant Hills (Sydney), February 2021:
Many thanks Richard for your presentation today. It was fabulous and really opens your eyes to history in a very interesting way. Feedback was great and many have said they would love to hear more from you.
Meetings organiser
Asquith Mixed Probus Club, October 2020:
Thank you again for your presentation this morning. I found it fascinating.
Meetings organiser
U3A (University of the Third Age), North Shore (Sydney), September 2020:
Your previous lecture to U3A science was particularly well received. I was wondering whether you would consider addressing us on another lecture you may have prepared.
Meetings organiser
"Understanding Science" lecture, May 2020, online broadcast to China:
Well done to Richard for the excellent talk!
I thought our first online Understanding Science talk was an overwhelming success, especially considering that we attracted more than 10 times the previous record for the number of viewers. Thanks everyone for all the help and thanks especially to Richard for delivering the great talk!
Organisation team, "Understanding Science Beijing"
National Science Week 2019, Sydney, Australia:
Thank you again for your excellent presentation at assembly today.
Students and staff all found your presentation to be engaging and informative – you pitched it just right!
Head of Science, Queenwood School for Girls
University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
I attended your talk [at the] University of Malaya on Wednesday and I would like to extend my gratitude to you and your team for such an informative talk.
Participant, Enago Academy author workshops 2019
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia:
You significantly described important aspects related to pre- and post-submission steps of manuscripts and sharing practical tips for avoiding journal rejection. I truly enjoyed your useful pointers on how researchers can prepare a submission-ready manuscript and address some of the key reasons for immediate desk rejections by editors or [during] the peer review stage. Additionally, [I benefited from] your precious tips to avoid plagiarism and salami slicing even though for my own papers!
The information provided by you at the workshop was very valuable and it was a great honour to me to learn the essential knowledge required to publish high quality research outputs from such as a great professor and scientist as you.
Participant, Enago Academy author workshops 2019
Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Perak, Malaysia:
It was really great being in your lectures at Universiti Teknologi Petronas for paper writing and publications [sic]. I would like to thank you for sharing your precious experience and knowledge.
Participant, Enago Academy author workshops 2019
Southwest and Central Asian Regional Office of Astronomy for Development:
Everyone remembers your excellent lectures at our last [summer] school in 2016. I would like to invite you to be one of the lecturers at the 6BISS -- 6th Byurakan International Summer School, which will be held on September 10--21, 2018.
Director, Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Armenia
Sixth Star Inc. (speaking engagement on cruise ships):
Richard is able to engage with anyone, young or old, expert or layman, Chinese or Western. And he fully uses this talent in adapting his talks to the audience.
Science Councillor, Netherlands Embassy in Beijing (2016)
Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan:
Thank you very much for [your] wonderful seminars for Japanese researchers this time. It was a very good opportunity for them to learn hands-on knowledge on the topic, and we could bolster our credibility by conducting your seminars.
Event organiser

The lecturer explained in [an] easily understandable manner about how to proceed [with] international collaboration and how to solve problems [from] his own experience. It was [a] good seminar [for] young researchers who would like to pursue international collaboration in the future.
Audience member

Researchers' Night 5.0 (on the theme of the International Year of Light 2015), Beijing, China:
Prof. Richard de Grijs from [the] Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University first enchanted the audience with a captivating presentation outlining the purpose of this UN initiative. He introduced why the theme is relevant [to] all disciplines including social science, humanities, arts and culture.
EURAXESS Links China; full report
Birkdale School, Sheffield, UK:
Just another huge thank you for your mind-opening talk. It is good of you to give up your time. Attached is a note from one of the boys.
Head of Science

We would like to thank you for the excellent lecture you gave us on 12th March during our science week. I know that it was enjoyed by all of my friends. I found the pictures and videos fascinating, which gave me a great perspective on the size of the Universe which I would never have been able to think of otherwise.
Lots of people would have been interested and influenced to go on and work in that area, as it seems that you can’t stop discovering new things. We really enjoyed your visit and would be delighted if you were to come in again some time and entertain us all; it was certainly the most fascinating and mind-boggling presentation I’d ever seen and I’m sure most other people thought that too.
Class S3S, Birkdale School

Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Observatory, UK:
The members said that they really enjoyed the lecture, it was something for everyone, it is good when speakers can talk at all levels of experience. We all send our regards and hope to see you again.
Programme Coordinator
Bradford Astronomical Society, UK:
I would just like to thank you for the marvellous talk you gave us last Monday.
Audience member

Many thanks for your lecture last night. We think you managed to pitch the level just right – in fact two new visitors actually decided to join and pay their subscriptions because they had enjoyed it so much.
Programme Organiser

Cleethorpes Astronomical Society, UK:
I wonder if you would be prepared to give one of your excellent talks here at Cleethorpes again?
We really enjoyed your last talk. Our members are now hooked on having real research people to talk to them!
Meetings Secretary

Thank you again for a really great talk last night. I'll never look at M81 and M82 in quite the same way.
Manchester Astronomical Society, UK:
On Monday evening I gave a talk to Bradford AS and in discussing speakers and topics for future lectures at Manchester, their secretary recommended you as being an excellent speaker.
Lecture organiser; see also this report
SETpoint Bradford / Space Circus, UK:
Thank you for your time and brilliance at the Space Circus session. You were very helpful and we are very appreciative of your support and expertise.
Chief Executive
Café Scientifique Sheffield, UK:
Thanks a lot for your participation at the Café Scientifique. You gave us a great evening.
Leiden University, Netherlands:
The professor was really clear in the explanations, besides the material and organization of the class was wonderful.

The combination of historical background, cold hard facts, theory and movies makes it easy to grasp the concepts and the problems.

... and with those delightful videos played in the lecture, making the material very easy to understand. Good job, Richard.
Student evaluations
Peking University, China:
Thank you for your wonderful teaching and care all the time!

I really enjoyed your lectures during the last semester.

Thank you for bringing these wonderful lectures to us.

... and thank you for your dedicated teaching. I really benefited a lot.

And thank you for the whole semester.

Thank you for your teaching and guidance this semester.
Student testimonials

(Top 25, Gold medal research awards 2016)

Video testimonials

2012 Selby Award lecture: Citation and introduction by Professor Michael Dopita (Australian National University)

2011 public lecture at Beijing Planetarium (When Galaxies Collide...): Introduction by Dr. ZHANG Ziping (in Chinese)

Make up your own mind!

Video interviews