This year Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve flown nearly ninety-thousand miles as Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve chased conferences and collaboration meetings and colleagues around the globe. Today Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m a quarter turn away from yesterday, transported from Edwardsville, Illinois, USA to Leiden, Holland, the Netherlands. My passport, unused until March of 2008, now only has 2 pages left. It will be replaced in April, but it has two more trips to go: Italy for the IYA closing ceremony and than South Africa to discuss the future at the Communicating Astronomy to the Public meeting.
For now though, I am in Leiden, in my hotel room just sitting for a moment, stealing a moment to write before Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m swept away by activity.
Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m here to attend the dotAstronomy meeting. This is a conference Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ve been looking forward to for an entire year. This is someplace I know Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ll learn new things (I donâ€šÃ„Ã´t get to always do that), and where I know Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ll hang out with people going through the same funding nightmares Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m experiencing (not good, but misery loves company?), and in general this is a place where Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m among peers who I adore and respect and with whom I expect to build great things.
That is perhaps the coolest thing of all about this little 1 week meeting: we have a goal. This week, somehow, weâ€šÃ„Ã´re going to try and turn out a citizen science project. Weâ€šÃ„Ã´re going to combine our science know-how, our tech know-how, and our communications know-how, and together weâ€šÃ„Ã´re going to dream and build and the hopefully invite you to be a part of it all.
Tomorrow morning Iâ€šÃ„Ã´ll be posting the UStream for the conference, and you can follow all the activity through the hashtag #dotastro on twitter.
Come, be a part of this, and help us build something new.
(If only all conferences where this cool…)