As well as blogging this meeting as best I can, I’m also here try very hard to suck as many people into communicating astronomy as I can. To that end, I gave a talk on a project to create a Speaker’s Bureau, a Writer’s Bureau and an archive of publicly available presentations. Led by Mike Simonsen, with significant contributions by Donn Starkey and Kate Davis and emailing by me, this suite of outreach activities seeks to supply astronomy clubs and associations with a list of eager speaker’s who are willing to travel to their meetings and give talks (we state how far they will travel on their own dime, and how much farther they’ll go if the association covers their costs). If it is at all possible, we want to get an variable star talk at every major star party. It is our hope that by organizing ready speakers and contacting star party leaders to let them know about what we’re doing, we’ll be able to match speakers and with time slots around the country and the world, and help get variable star astronomy out to the masses.
To help encourage participation, we are also providing a collection of powerpoint presentations that individuals can use as starting points (or end points) for the talks they give. (All talks have creative commons licensing and the original author will receive attribution). This means that when I smile nicely at AAVSO folks and ask, “Would you like to join? I’ve noticed your an outgoing knowledgeable person.” They can’t use “I don’t have time to prepare a talk” as an excuse to say no. It is all part of an evil educational plan to get more people communicating this hobby we love to others interested in astronomy who may not know about variable stars.
Are you a variable star person? Do you want to get involved? Email me! pamela at starstryder dot com.
Are you a club member looking for possible speakers? Take a look at this page or email me, and we’ll help get variable stars into your line up.