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Session 33 - Amateurs & Professionals: Collaborators in the New Age of Electronic Astronomy - II.
Oral session, Tuesday, June 10
North Main Hall C/D,

[33.09] Amateur-Professional Relations: What Now?

D. L. Crawford (IDA, Inc.)

What's an amateur astronomer? A "lover" of astronomy. There are all types of them, with many talents and interests. Some look at the sky, some do serious research, some take pretty images, some are in it mainly for the social contacts, some like the technology aspects best, some are just armchair astronomers -- readers and viewers. But they all like astronomy, the planets, the stars, and the universe. They educate and inspire others as well.

What's a professional astronomer? They get paid, it's their job. They have had a lot of formal training, usually a Ph.D. There are many types, many specialities, many personalities.

Both types of astronomers are making a great positive impact on research and on education. I think it could be much better yet if we valued each other more and worked more closely together. Two obvious examples: monitoring variable objects, and building awareness of the problems of light pollution. There is a need for more formal involvement by local, national, and international organizations.

Program listing for Tuesday