Saturday, 15 December 2012

AAVSO Bright Star Monitor Epoch Photometry Database

The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) Bright Star Monitor Epoch Photometry Database - Part 2

Henden, showing his usual distain for any view that differs from his own, thought that my previous post was disrepectful. Oh dear (not)!

So I wrote - I have enormous respect for the work carried out by the individual members of the AAVSO.

However it was not these members who made the decision to snub the international groups who have been generous enough to share their members’ data with the AAVSO. The decision by a tiny sub-group to adopt a “what was yours has become everybody’s but some of what is ours will remain ours” approach is unquestionably a spectacular public-relations disaster.
I agree that the light curve generator identifies the affiliation of the observer but, crucially, the WebObs facility does not do so. Any observer using the individual results will almost inevitably do so without regard to the affiliation of source observer. My view that the best these overseas data providers can expect from any subsequent use of their results is a generic comment along the lines of, “Thank you to those AAVSO members who provided the results” remains unchanged. That seems wholly unacceptable.

Neither by-the-way was it the ordinary members of the AAVSO who decided to move the thread on the Bright Star Monitor Epoch Photometry Database to the AAVSO Governance forum so that the thread starter (that would be me) and other non-members of AAVSO (surely those most disadvantaged by the decision) could neither see nor contribute to the debate. Sadly this is not the first time that a policy of censoring views that differ from that of HQ’s staff  seems to have been adopted. I’m thinking here specifically of the demise of the AAVSO Data Mining Section and the humiliating fiasco of the First Survey of Professional and Amateur Collaborations in Astronomy - although there are other examples.

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