Friday, 9 October 2009

The Archers, the Awesome Ideas Collection, and Active Galactic Zooclei

Hopefully another guest blog article from me will soon be out - I'll point you to it when it is - which was largely about the She is an Astronomer project. In researching it, I came to find out a lot about, and gain a huge respect for, Dr Helen Walker. She has also started what I hope will become a very, very important thread on the forum, as we gain more followers: How can we get the IAU resolution going?

The IAU resolution, of course, is the one she got passed in Brazil: to encourage and support female astronomers. She's put up a list of specific recommended moves, and asked for everybody's ideas on how to put them into practice. I hope that a lot of practical suggestions will get made. I'm about to write down mine, but the more ideas the merrier. If you've got an idea but don't want to join the forum, you're more than welcome to contact me or Helen with it. Contact details are at the bottom of this page!

Lots of various zoo news in the meantime; serious news requires a separate blog post but I'd like to share two smile generating snapshots with you. Firstly, we've had two mentions on the Archers! Apparently a party is coming up, and they hope they can drag Dan away from Galaxy Zoo. "What? You can't go to the zoo on whoever-it-was's* birthday!" "No, no . . . Galaxy Zoo. People from all over the world . . . sort of . . . categorising galaxies. It's quite addictive, actually." Someone's obviously been clicking - keep it up, mate! I hope someone from the Archers will create Dan's profile for us too.

(*Whose birthday was it - I didn't catch the name, since I'd never listened to it. Could a regular listener let me know if Dan did get successfully dragged away? And someone on the Zoo blog says Dan died a long time ago. How is this possible?)
** Update II: It was a confusion of Dans. Thank goodness for that - I know people like classifying but I'd be disturbed to discover that someone was coming back from the dead to do it.)

There's something really special about getting a mention in fiction. We've been having a good chuckle on the blog and in the Cafe, where you can pick up the links.

Finally, Carie of the Peas is putting in a proposal for postdoc funding. She wants to study the role of the active galactic nucleus in galaxy evolution, using citizen science (i.e. us) as her data gatherer. It seems the surveys will not just be SDSS, but "deep multi-wavelength". I think the "build-up of the red sequence" probably means the galaxy evolution, though I've asked more.

Anyway, do you have an idea for a cool title? Carie says: "These all sound so great. I wish the referees had as good of a sense of humor as the zooites! Hmm, the stress of it all is driving me towards titles like: 'Please fund me, the zoo is cool'." I have suggested Active Galactic Zooclei.

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