Youʻre reading these words because, as of the beginning of 2016, the existing climate in the world of professional astronomy has become less than desirable. Across backgrounds, nationalities, genders, races, and philosophical and political bents, we agree that policy, decision making, speech and acceptable thought in Astronomy are going in the wrong direction. This shift in our culture is not at the will of the majority but at the insistence of the few.
The Few are successfully dictating what Astronomy should look like and how it should function, primarily by controlling the flow of information in the community. There have been reports of censorship in astronomy blogs,including the AAS CSWA blog, and in the larger world of social media. Scientists who disagree with the perspectives and values of The Few, or who simply express their beliefs in different styles, have been harassed, attacked, and publicly shamed into silence. We believe that this pattern of interaction has caused great harm to the field of astronomy. The control and suppression of thought and communication is anathema to the open exchange of ideas required in a scientific and democratic community.
This website stands apart as a place in which a larger sampling of voices can be heard. This is not a “Safe Space.” This is not a place in which uncomfortable ideas are banned. We intend to return the community to a state in which uncomfortable ideas are welcomed, and are considered essential for rigorous, intellectual engagement in the serious issues that confront our field.
Guest and recurring contributions are welcome. It has become unsafe to openly express opinions in the astronomy community in the past year. Contributions may therefore be submitted and posted by name, or anonymously. Questions and contributions can be directed at