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 Only 1/4 reach out! Do YOU?
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 Sunday, July 01 2007 @ 03:06 pm EDT (Read 1646 times)  
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Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 461

I was shocked, floored, dumbfounded, to read in the August issue of Astronomy magazine that 3 out of 4 amateur astronomers do NOT belong to an astronomy club. Furthermore, 1/3 of those wouldn't even consider joining a club, while the rest of those who weren't associated with a club said they might consider joining one.

I had to read that again. It couldn't possibly be true, could it? Are there really only 1 out of every 4-or-5 amateurs that belong to an astronomy club and enjoy public outreach?

I had to think hard about that for a minute. As I thought about what I know of amateurs right here locally, I realized that I actually knew probably 10 to 12 local amateurs who aren't associated with AOAS or any other club in our area. I had to figure that there may be at LEAST 20-25 more I didn't even know about. I'd only heard about them from other club members or in conversation with other amateurs over the years. It was likely just as true here as it was for those people who responded to the Poll question listed inside the front portion of Astronomy magazine on page 8.

I wonder what the world would be like if only 50% of all those who don't reach out would suddenly start to do so? I have to believe that we'd be much better off if they did. More people would be available to give presentations to their kid's school. More people would be available to attend star parties and share views of the universe with guests who've always wondered what looking through a telescope was like. Maybe many more guests would think that astronomy was something they'd like to get into and begin as a hobby, too. Maybe there would even be a renewed interest in encouraging our representatives in government to more fully fund scientific missions for NASA, instead of letting them cut, and cut, and cut again every scientific mission program that comes along.

What could we do, what could YOU do to bring more amateur astronomers into local clubs? Could it even be done? I wonder..........

Bob Moody
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