Politics


Earlier today I realized I was one day off. I showed up for a meeting on communicating astronomy to the public and found myself in a meeting on generating more accurate world coordinate systems for sky surveys. While astrometry is important, it is something that I wasn’t interested in helping advance prior to lunch. Thus, I fled. In fleeing, I found myself in a session on how to use astronomy to develop the developing world. I...

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Pink Tasks (post 2/2)


Posted By on Aug 27, 2012

In yesterday’s women in science lunch, we ended with this question: Why do so many women remain silent about all the day-to-day micro-inequities and minor discriminations and injustices they deal with. Ignoring the obvious (it’s really hard to report someone for a million small things that can be blamed on “Oh, he was just in a bad mood), there are also many other reasons to remain silent. I long ago recognized that...

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Pink Tasks (post 1 of 2)


Posted By on Aug 27, 2012

In general, I’m not someone who is an activist feminist. My focus has always been on science research and education, but sometimes gender issues can’t be ignored. If you saw my talk from TAM2012, you know that for better or (more likely) for worse, the issues faced by women in science and skepticism have been a lot on my mind lately. I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about this a lot. Here at the IAU...

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IAU, I’m lost within you

IAU, I’m lost within you


Posted By on Aug 27, 2012

This morning I woke up in Beijing. This wasn’t entirely surprising since I’d fallen asleep at about 32,000 ft on AA187, inbound to PEK from ORD. Nonetheless, no matter how much you know logically that you are soon to be somewhere very foreign, the reality of it is always startling. Beijing assaults the senses the moment the cabin door opens. There is the smell; air so thick with pollution that you feel constantly dirty,...

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IAU, Pluto, and naming P5

IAU, Pluto, and naming P5


Posted By on Aug 10, 2012

The 2012 meeting of the International Astronomical Union is about to begin in Beijing, China. I’ll be attending the second week of the meeting, and talking on the very last day (yikes!) The 2 constant questions about IAU are “Will Pluto get back its planethood?” and “what new objects might get named?” Well, no one is rumoring that the dwarf planet issue will come back up, so I think we’re going to...

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Red August: A Mars Month

Red August: A Mars Month


Posted By on Aug 5, 2012

The month of August is named after Augustus Ceasar, the Roman Emperor who oversaw the expansion of the Roman Empire in the years after Julius Ceasar’s death on the Ides of March, and even Jesus Christ is said historically to have reminded people to render unto this particular Emperor what is his. This means that August might should stay Augustus’ month… but Mars keeps trying to leave it’s mark on this...

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