#2 The colonial side of astronomy and what to do about it with Ann Thresher

In 2014 and 2015, protests against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, showed how the choice of where to build a telescope is entangled with deep social and political issues. In this episode, I talk with Ann C. Thresher from Stanford University about the relationship between astronomy and colonialism, and the ethical dimensions of telescope sitings. Thresher is a leader of the Responsible siting group within the Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope, and is actively involved in reaching out to local communities in the early stages of new telescope projects.

Learn more:

Ann. C. Thresher’s homepage

History Philosophy Culture working group of the ng-EHT

Decolonising Science Reading List

Music credit: Jean Anguis.

#1 The future of gravitational wave astronomy with Salvatore Vitale

The 2017 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the discovery by the LIGO observatory of a gravitational wave signal created by two colliding black holes. But what has happened since then? What have the gravitational wave hunters learned about not only black holes, but also neutron stars and even the expansion of the universe? In this episode, associate professor Salvatore Vitale from MIT and the LIGO collaboration will answer these questions, and also describe what we can expect from the future of gravitational wave astronomy.

Music credit: Jean Anguis.