Pluto vote “hijacked” by minority in Prague?

Via BBC news:

Pluto vote ‘hijacked’ in revolt: A fierce backlash has begun against the decision by astronomers to strip Pluto of its status as a planet.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5283956.stm

On Thursday, experts approved a definition of a planet that demoted Pluto to a lesser category of object.

But the lead scientist on Nasa’s robotic mission to Pluto has lambasted the ruling, calling it “embarrassing”.

And the chair of the committee set up to oversee agreement on a definition implied that the vote had effectively been “hijacked”.

The vote took place at the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) 10-day General Assembly in Prague. The IAU has been the official naming body for astronomy since 1919.

Only 424 astronomers who remained in Prague for the last day of the meeting took part.

Professor [Owen]Gingerich, who had to return home to the US and therefore could not vote [on the planet resolution] himself, said he would like to see electronic ballots introduced in future.

Alan Stern agreed: “I was not allowed to vote because I was not in a room in Prague on Thursday 24th. Of 10,000 astronomers, 4% were in that room – you can’t even claim consensus.

“If everyone had to travel to Washington DC every time we wanted to vote for President, we would have very different results because no one would vote. In today’s world that is idiotic. I have nothing but ridicule for this decision.”

He added that he could not see the resolution standing for very long and did not plan to change any of the astronomy textbook he was currently writing.

2 responses to “Pluto vote “hijacked” by minority in Prague?

  1. Pingback: Space blog

  2. Buon luogo, congratulazioni, il mio amico!

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