On Saturday morning, I’ll be leaving for Beijing, China, to attend and speak at the International Planetarium Society meeting. This great assemblage, the big meeting of the world’s planetarium professionals, takes place every two years. This year, it occurs June 21–28 and will chiefly be centered on the great new Beijing Planetarium. Hundreds of planetarium professionals will be in attendance, and I will be reporting on the event, its meaning, and the crucial role planetaria play in science popularization in a future issue of Astronomy magazine.
On Tuesday, June 24, I’ll deliver one of four keynote talks given during the week —mine will be titled “Does the Universe Really Care About Itself? Communicating Astronomy in the 21st Century.” I’ll share some of the thoughts from this talk a little later on. Other keynote talks will include presentations by Ouyang Ziyuan, senior advisor to China’s lunar exploration program, who will describe the recent Chang’e lunar mission; Prof. Sun Xiaochun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who will describe the rich history of astronomy in ancient China; and Prof. Nikolay N. Samus of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who will describe astronomy and astronomical education in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Many, many more activities are planned for the week. I will be blogging from Beijing, so look for updates.
I want to thank Prof. Jin Zhu, director of Beijing Planetarium, for his kind invitation to attend as one of the principal speakers. Thanks also are due to Ziping Zhang of the planetarium for his kind and helpful assistance. And I owe a big thanks to my friend Thomas Kraupe, director of Planetarium Hamburg and president of the IPS, for including me in his plans for the meeting.
I look forward to seeing my planetarium friends in Beijing!