AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 13 RFI Mitigation and Light Pollution Issues
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

[Previous] | [Session 13] | [Next]

[13.01] Gaining Public Support for RFI Mitigation

D. G. Finley (National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

Astronomy's access to radio spectrum depends to a great extent on international and national regulatory agencies. Such regulation is inherently a political process, so support for radio astronomy by the general public is vital to success. Educating the public about a subject perceived as so highly technical can be challenging. Success in advancing public understanding of the issue and gaining public support is based on two foundations: publicizing the societal value of astronomy; and explaining the interference problem in non-technical terms that draw upon the well-understood terminology of environmental protection.

Effective communication can convince non-scientists that astronomical research is a vital and beneficial activity, and that unpolluted access to the radio spectrum is essential to making the new discoveries that are astronomy's contribution to humanity. Convinced of this, the public will support imposing the expense of engineering measures designed to protect radio astronomy, just as they support spending money to protect air, water and soil from pollution.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dfinley@nrao.edu

[Previous] | [Session 13] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #2
© YEAR. The American Astronomical Soceity.