Saturday, 26 April 2008

Cosmic Diary


Since starting this blog last year I forgot to give a breakdown of what the Cosmic Diary actually is. Cosmic Diary is one of the 11 Global Cornerstone Projects for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The Cosmic Diary isn't just about astronomy, its about portraying the human side of the astronomers themselves. The Cosmic Diary will be a glimpse into the daily lives of astronomers worldwide, creating a blog in text and images, (and in my blog movies), reporting on their life, families, friends, hobbies, interests, their latest research findings and the challenges that face them in their research and work.

Outside the observatories, labs and offices, astronomers are parents, photographers, athletes, and musicians. At work they are managers, observers, graduate students, lecturers, grant proposers, instrument builders and data analysts.

More can be found on the IYA 09 website at: http://www.astronomy2009.org/cornerstone-projects-mainmenu-80/cosmic-diary-mainmenu-84.html

So why is this a blog created under the banner of the Cosmic Diary project? In the UK and Internationally we still have a long long way to go before the global cornerstone projects as a whole are ready for next year. Some of the projects are pretty straight forward while others to implement will be extremely complex and will require an enormous amount of (wo)man power. My motivation for the Cosmic Diary is to assist in the coordination of the international collective taskgroups and grant funding. I am also a taskgroup member of Universe Awareness and the Galileo Teacher Training Programme, and also Universe Awareness co-ordinator for the UK. This year I have been able to represent the Association for Astronomy Education as their President and also the Space Education Council as their secretary. To move matters forward in the UK and worldwide, a UK collective is planning a conference to be held during IYA 09 to show teachers, educators, pupils, astronomers, members of the public and everyone in-between what the IYA 09 hopes to achieve, what we are planning to do and what we are currently doing. Many of the IYA 09 global cornerstone projects intend to carry on after 2009. Some like Universe Awareness plan to become a foundation where the project is implemented with project partners worldwide. Ambitious as this all seems, this can only happen as a collective consortium of astronomers, educators, the amateur astronomy community and everyday citizens. By utilising this blog it is hoped that people will be able to tap into the latest updates on the progress of IYA 09 and also to get a glimpse of an astronomers daily life , what it is like to be an astronomer and also obtain information on the latest activites, events and how they can participate. And hopefully you will also find it entertaining! astronomers have a sense of humour too you know) : )

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