Sunday July 1
Session II 13:00-14:00
- Clark Muir, Astronomical Expeditions: the RASC in Travelling Mode
- The RASC has a long tradition of involvement in astronomical expeditions, both collectively, or through individual members’ participation. The expeditions cover the gamut from largely professional in nature, to largely amateur. It is a tradition which exists to this day. This presentation will concentrate on the solar eclipse expeditions on which RASC members of the Proctor family (relatives of the prominent British amateur Richard Proctor) were involved, while touching on facts of other expeditions.
- Chris Beckett, Styles of Observing in the RASC Since 1868
- Mutually furthering the practice of observing was one of the prime reasons organizations like the RASC were first founded. There were commonalities in the cultures of observing in many organized groups, but the differences in what was observed, how it was observed, how observations were recorded, kept, and disseminated, and how observers were trained, are at least as important as the similarities. Changes over time to the RASC’s commitment to observing are sketched, and several aspects of the Society’s culture of observing are put under the microscope.
- Chris Gainor, The RASC and the Space Age—Participants and Spectators
- The anticipated yet surprising advent of the space age profoundly affected amateur and professional astronomy. For amateur societies, it gave a boost in membership, new opportunities for pro-am collaboration, a source of inspiration, and reflected glory and increased notice in the public sphere. This talk looks at the RASC’s response to the Space Age, and the nature of the involvement of several members.
Session III 14:00-15:00
- Judy Sterner, An Anthropologist Looks at the RASC
- Astronomers in association, like any other group, can be viewed through the anthropological lens. The insights gained can help us see elements of our life in the RASC in ways we are unaccustomed to. Such changes of context can be revealing, sometimes entertaining, and useful.
- David Turner, A Half-Century of Involvement with the RASC and Other Pro-Am Groups
- As a member of a variety of professional and pro-am special interest groups over the years, ranging from the RASC and AAVSO to planetarium associations and professional committees, all with a stated priority of educating the public, the speaker has witnessed a variety of techniques used for instructional purposes, and has also been involved in an editorial role for some of them. It is interesting to note the success or lack of success in such ventures over the years. The RASC has probably been no better or worse than other groups in such goals over the years, which raises the unanswered question: are there better ways of doing it?”
- Heather Laird, Varieties of Female Participation in the RASC
- The nature of the Society has been a perennial concern for at least the last quarter century; do we have the right proportion of genders in the Society, varied cultural representation to reflect the changing fabric of Canadian Society, and a healthy proportion of different age groups? Are we unintentionally excluding some groups in Canadian society through our habitual modes and manner of presentation? A full survey cannot be presented here, so I’ll offer a survey of female participation in the Society, with particular attention to the activities female members undertook, whether they participated as fully as their male colleagues, and if not, what barriers (intentional or unintentional) prevented them from doing so. I close with the lessons for diversity we might learn from looking at our past, with an eye to the future.
Round Table 15:00-15:30
- So much for the first 150 years—will there be another 150 years? This is an open discussion of our possible future(s) with reference to our past.