It is the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (and from Wikipedia), a collaboration between UNESCO and the International Astronomical Union. Thanks to an interview on Europe1 this morning of Hubert Reeves, the brilliant Canadian astronomer and philosopher, I learned about this celebration and the inter connection between astrophysics/astronomy (the history of our universe) and ecology (the future of our universe). And, nodding my head, I thought about how I have become a student/acolyte of both as well.
Of course, I was also perplexed as to how one goes about creating a year of Anything… and whether astronomers around the world are, as a result, going to come up with the big one this year (i.e. proof that life exists on other planets). I’d love to be on the UNESCO committee that comes up with which topic area will be attributed the “Year of” status. How many subjects can be given in a year? It is the year of how many other things? The year of Obama? The year of Facebook? The year that peace broke out somewhere? I note that there is a branding guideline for this Year of Astronomy which you can read here (serious business).
Meanwhile, I also was contemplating the link, in a prior post, between sustainable development and web 2.0. Now I am left wondering about the link between astrophysics and web 2.0, to close the circle. The ever expanding universe, the interconnectability of everything, the virtual life (secondlife and more)… It makes me wonder. What are your thoughts?