My relationship with The Planetary Society is rather new, I confess. And exactly because of this I am very confortable in talking about it. I’m not “part of the landscape”, so to speak.
The afore mentioned José Roberto got me into the Society. He is the editor of Astronomia no Zênite, the most popular Astronomy website in Portuguese. He is also the Communications Director of the Association of Brazilian Planetariums, ABP. And, as far as I know (and I hope I’m not commiting any injustices here), he is the biggest advocate for the Planetary Society in Brazil.
In a matter of fact, if I correctly understood the chain of events, the Brazilian branch of the Planetary Society owes its existence to him. Before he started his cruzade, there was only the original Planetary Society. Its Brazilian branch, right here where I’m writing this very same lines, comes entirely from José Roberto’s efforts.
But before I became a full fledged member of the Planetary Society, and started do write this blog (all José Roberto’s fault, I insist), it was already, in some way, embedded in my mind. If not the Society itself, at least some of its illustrous directors.Bill Nye. Who knows him, knows it is impossible to say his name without adding “the Science Guy”. He is one of the most famous science popularizers in the English-speaken world. Together with Beakman (from “Beakman’s World”), Bill Nye taught me many tricks and, most important of all, fed my curiosity and made me thirsty for knowledge. Bill Nye is the Planetary Society’s CEO.
The president of its Board of Directors is Jim Bell. I had the honor of meeting Jim in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy. In a happy coincidence, 2009 was also a year that the International Astronomical Union, IAU held one of its triennial General Assemblies.
Even happier coincidence still, in 2009, the IAU’s GA happened in Rio! And, luck of lucks!, all the lectures aimed to the general public were presented at the Rio de Janeiro Planetarium main dome. Jim Bell presented to the audience a very thorough, and funny!, lecture about the Mars rovers.
I met Jim in two other occasions, the most recent in 2012, when he was the Keynote Speaker at the ABP Annual Meeting held in Iguazu Falls.
So… maybe I’m not that new to the Society after all. Maybe it just took me longer than usual to become an official member!
And that is that. My first blog entry in English. I hope I didn’t embarass myself much.
Greetings from the Southern Skies! ■