Wednesday, January 7, 2009

AAS 213th Meeting: IYA Opening

Tonight, I went to the opening reception for the IYA kick-off in the US. They gave out free beer: Sierra Nevada Galileo's Astronomical Ale. "Theoretically the best beer in the universe." I got one just so I could keep the bottle.

There were speeches made, and the opening of some island in Second Life, which they showed for us on one of the screens up front. I'm too busy with my first life to want a Second Life, so I'm not following any of the Second Life stuff, but you can at

Then followed a screening of the movie 400 Years of Galileo's Telescope, which features an awful lot of white guys, with the exception of Wendy Freedman, Claire Max, and Catherine Cesarsky. (Also, one of the white guys was my friend John D, who's in there for all of two seconds, so now I'm going to tease him mercilessly about it.) I couldn't help but feel like maybe they could have featured more women in it. And talked more other subfields of astronomy than cosmology. For instance, they went on and on about dark energy, but never once dark matter. Then they could have interviewed Vera Rubin!

Some day, I'd like to see a video on popular astronomy, filled with interviews with experts who happen to be women. I bet it could be done.