IPS President Thomas Kraupe closes the 2014 meeting in Beijing with many of the local organizers, Beijing, China, June 27, 2014 // Credit: David J. Eicher
The last two days of the International Planetarium Society (IPS) meeting in Beijing, China, held last week at the Beijing Planetarium, went by in a flurry. A huge variety of activities brought together more than 350 planetarium professionals to explore all aspects of communicating science to the public. I have enjoyed my first IPS meeting greatly and stuck around through the entirety of the meeting after delivering my keynote address on Tuesday.
Thursday, June 26, was a busy day. Sun Xiaochun of the Institute for the History of Natural Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, delivered a fascinating overview talk about ancient Chinese astronomy. The IPS business meeting consumed much of the afternoon, concentrating on all manner of decisions and activities relating to the running of the society. We then had a group photo, and I had a most enjoyable dinner with good friends Martin and Shawn Ratcliffe. Martin works for Sky-Skan, one of the planetarium worlds leading lights, but you probably know him best from his longstanding column, writing “The Sky this Month” in Astronomy
Friday was another very busy day. Nikolay N. Samus of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow delivered a terrific summary of astronomy past and present in the countries of the former Soviet Union. It was a highly illuminating presentation and contained lots of information that relatively few Westerners know about. Following lunch, we were in for a treat. The Best of Fulldome Festival Presentation in the planetarium’s 3-D theater delivered multiple shows that were absolutely incredible —— I loved them all.
We then had a lavish banquet at a fancy restaurant across town, which included the closing ceremonies.
What an incredible time in Beijing. Many thanks to all of you whom I talked with and for the opportunity to make many new friends.
For all images from this trip, visit the Online Reader Gallery.
International Planetarium Society meets in Beijing
Speaking at the IPS in Beijing
Visiting one of the oldest observatories in the world