Enlightened Views

I have been campaigning against light pollution for some time and last year Megan and I set up the campaign against light pollution in the North-West on BBC iCan. Recently, in some of the publicity in Physics World (published by the Institute of Physics), for World Physics Year 2005, there was mention of a 'relay of light' which would go all the way around the globe in one night. As you might guess, shining lots of light up into the sky is not the sort of thing an astronomer likes even if it is to be a one-off event. The contribution from that one event is obviously not going to be long term but it does set a bad example to the rest of the world. How long before this sort of thing happens to promote other things?

Today the BBC News carries a story about the fact that the Institute of Physics has decided not to support the plan because of the "public perception" that physicists are clashing with astronomers. Prof Kalmus, who represents the IoP on the steering committee for WYoP2005, said:

"Some complaints were merely abusive and appeared to be based on ignorance. But others were more thoughtful and pointed out that although the scheme would not affect astronomical observations, it could set a bad precedence, for example to commercial organisations that might wish to illuminate the night sky with advertising."

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 10th Aug 2004 (16:10 UTC) | Permalink
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