American astronomers have a moral obligation to support O’odham land defenders

Willb/ September 29, 2020/ lefty astronomy/ 0 comments

Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), the beloved observatory which “supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth” is in turn supported by – that is, resides atop – a sacred mountain of the O’odham people. The observatory, which has provided smaller institutions and the public an equal opportunity to conduct and publish astronomy research for over half a

Read More

can “science” be decolonized? and what really is “science”?

Willb/ January 12, 2020/ lefty astronomy, research log/ 3 comments

Context, and then some of my thoughts on astronomy Mauna Kea, the tallest of five volcanoes comprising the big island of Hawai’i, is the most sacred of mountains to native Hawaiians. Protected by kapu, a code of conduct, visitation was restricted in order to protect the sanctity of the mountain. Around the 12th century native people began small quarries high

Read More

inclusive astronomy 2: postmortem

Willb/ October 18, 2019/ lefty astronomy, personal, research log/ 3 comments

The inclusive astronomy conference was originally held in 2015, at a time when tensions were boiling over in the field. it was attended by a variety of astronomy-lovers who sought change in a field that (to this day) hides the ugliness of colonialism, racism, misogyny, and LGBTQ-phobia behind a veneer of impartial, apolitical scientific inquiry. My personal hero, Frank Tavares,

Read More

The Paywall & Open Access

Willb/ August 23, 2019/ lefty astronomy, research log/ 0 comments

In your research, whether you’re an art historian or a astrophysicist, you’ve likely run up against a paywall. Berated with appeals either to login, sign-up, or get out, these moments can feel frustrating. Whether you move on, referencing a similar paper you have access to, finding a pre-print of the paper on an online resource, or simply asking the author

Read More

Supporting the mauna kea protests

Willb/ July 25, 2019/ lefty astronomy, research log/ 0 comments

Jul. 25th, 2019 What is happening on mauna kea? Construction of TMT on Maunakea was scheduled to resume Monday, July 15, 2019. On July 14, 2019, AP reported that unarmed National Guard units will be involved in transporting personnel and supplies, and enforcing road closures. Exact details of the situation on the mountain are dynamic, but as of Wednesday, July

Read More