CosmoQuest is the culmination of roughly 10 years of Fraser Cain, Phil Plait, and I working to communicate astronomy to the public. Over the decade the three of us have chatted in hotel rooms, skype windows, press rooms, bars, restuarants, Google Hangouts… We have chatted a lot, talking about what does and doesn’t work, talking about how we want to try and change and grow the field of astronomy to better engage folks like you in learning and doing astronomy while helping scientists better do science. When this all started, we were all separate entities. Phil had Bad Astronomy blog and forums. Fraser had Universe Today and its forums. And back in the day I was part of Slacker Astronomy which also had its own forums. The first thing to merge was the forums, and today there is BAUT Forum. Then Fraser and I started doing Astronomy Cast, bringing in Phil where ever we could.
In January, we launched CosmoQuest as the culmination of all those years of talking, and we gave it’s own forum (d’oh!).
When we created CosmoQuest, we were careful to make sure our forums were just CosmoQuest stuff, and if you wanted to go talk about other things… Well, we didn’t step on BAUT’s toes. We love them, and didn’t want to detract.
Well, last week, while talking about our dreams of building one large astronomy community, it suddenly made sense to merge BAUT and CosmoQuest forums under the CosmoQuest name.
Pamela’s first reaction was “EEP!” because that’s a whole lot of forum to merge! But then we did some googleing and found tools online that are designed to make merging forums like ours – based on the VBulletin software – a tractable process. Right now, if (if!!) all goes well with us and with out Amazon servers (that’s the if), we’re going to take down all the forums on Tuesday, back everything up, and merge. Failing that, we’ll try again at the end of the month (Pamela is going to TAM, Lunar Forums, and ASA in the middle, and would like to be at home for this so she can hack code as needed).
Moving BAUT to Cosmoquest will cause the following:
We’re going to have three difficulties to sort.
I hope all the CosmoQuest folks will warmly welcome in the BAUT community!