Characteristics of Astronomy-Related Organizations
Author: Heck A.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 274, Number 4, 2000 , pp. 733-783(51)
Geographical distributions, ages and sizes of astronomy-related organizations have been investigated from comprehensive and up-to-date samples extracted from the master files for StarGuides/StarWorlds. Results for professional institutions, associations, planetariums, and public observatories are commented, as well as specific distributions for astronomy-related publishers and commercial-software producers. The highly uneven general pattern displayed by geographical distributions is still very much the same as it was at the beginning of the XXth century, even if the densities are higher another illustration of the well-known socio-economic effect of self-reinforcement. Other geographical peculiarities (local concentrations, national cultures and policies, electronic astronomy, ) are discussed in the paper, as well as the uneasy separation between amateur and professional astronomers in associations. Some events had a clear impact on the rate of foundation of astronomy-related organizations, such as World Wars I and II, the beginning of space exploration, the landing of man on the Moon, the end of the Cold War, spectacular comets, and so on. However, as detailed in the paper, not all of them affected in the same way Western Europe and North America, nor the various types of organizations. The size of the vast majority of astronomy-related organizations is relatively small, with again some differences between Western Europe and North America.
Document Type: Regular paper
Affiliations: 1: Strasbourg, Astronomical Observatory, 11, rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France E-mail: email@example.com http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/heckheck">
Publication date: 2000-01-01