Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I think it is time for me to resign ....

What inspires people who want to resign from a voluntary group, or even from a subscription paying group, to do so by just "wondering off into the sunset" without so much as a goodbye. A brief explanation - that doesn't always have to be the 100% unvarnished truth - really isn't a lot to ask but it seems to be entirely beyond some people. Electronic communication is so quick and easy that it literally only takes a few minutes to update fellow members about your latest plans.

Those left behind can be put in a very difficult position when a previously reliable member simply stops attending meetings. Is the person ill? Has some horrible domestic crisis overtaken them? Or have they just got bored with what was on offer? Feedback from departing members can be a "useful wake up call" to even the smallest group and should be both solicited and acted upon.

Inspired by the above this is what I posted today.

"I think it is time for me to resign from XXX.

I'm not sure what the point of online forums is anymore.  I agree that while I have sometimes gained new information or a new perspective I do not believe they have ever really moved me, on their own, to reconsider a moral or a scientific position. 

True, it is possible to expand on one's ideas - but to what end?  Most people come with their set of views and then endlessly bang them up against everyone else's. I could keep on complaining at the way some professional astronomers misuse results from amateur colleagues but if you are one of the "sinners" in your everyday life how likely are you really to change your behaviour because of my postings? 

I still have quite a craving to raise my concerns - perhaps I need to find some other avenue that is more effective?  Perhaps my desire to speak up needs to be directed towards the wider scientific community? I'm not certain - but what I do know is that doing nothing isn't an option.

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