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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 25, 2006 15:14:38 GMT -6
Only 428 Allowed to Vote
The IAU claims to have 8,857 members worldwide. But when it comes to making important decisions - such as deciding what a planet is (or is not) only a very small fraction of that membership was allowed to participate. Only 428 members (less than 5% of IAU's global membership) were allowed to vote."
I wonder what the critiria was in order to be allowed to cast a vote.
Mutiny I say!...
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 27, 2006 2:35:18 GMT -6
Must be present to Vote
There were 2,700 astronomers in Prague during that 10-day period. But only 10% of them voted this afternoon. Those who disagreed and were determined to block the other resolution showed up in larger numbers than those who felt 'oh well, this is just one of those things the IAU is working on'."
Professor Gingerich, who had to return home to the US and therefore could not vote himself, said he would like to see electronic ballots introduced in future.
Alan Stern agreed: "I was not allowed to vote because I was not in a room in Prague on Thursday 24th. Of 10,000 astronomers, 4% were in that room - you can't even claim consensus.
"If everyone had to travel to Washington DC every time we wanted to vote for President, we would have very different results because no one would vote. In today's world that is idiotic. I have nothing but ridicule for this decision."
He added that he could not see the resolution standing for very long and did not plan to change any of the astronomy textbook he was currently writing.
But other astronomers were happy to see Pluto cast from the official roster of planets. Professor Iwan Williams, the IAU's president of planetary systems science, commented: "Pluto has lots and lots of friends; we're not so keen to have Pluto and all his friends in the club because it gets crowded.
"By the end of the decade, we would have had 100 planets, and I think people would have said 'my goodness, what a mess they made back in 2006'."