Our government has dropped the ball on space exploration. My husband and I believe that space colonization is vital to the distant future survival of our species. We know that our monthly donations are going to good science!
My earliest memories are of intellectual moments of insight. The moment when I first knew that I was different from the other children around me. The moment when I first realized that I could understand complex concepts and break them down to make them more easily understood. The moment when I first realized that I could be so much more than anyone expected.
I excelled at school but was consistently funneled into the more "gender approved" carrier paths. I never remember a single teacher I had throughout my entire educational journey suggest that I could go into the sciences. And so it never occurred to me to try. I went to University and received my degree in English Literature. I love literature and thrived in the academic study of it, but deep inside the smallest crevice of my secret soul I remember longing for an immersion into a more scientific kind of exploration.
After graduation I began the journey of my adult life, which eventually produced two sons. I remember being thrilled to have had sons so that I could finally study science, ostensibly to "teach" them as they grew, but secretly knowing that it was far deeper a dream than that. But HOW to teach them? I was a Literature geek, who knew very little of the ways of science beyond what I had read independently or learned at a museum display case.
Then a TV show changed my perceptions. Bill Nye the Science Guy. Here was a man - a scientist who was taking the complexities of a scientific world and presenting them to children - to me, like a gift, in the most palatable way! My sons loved the show. I loved the show. We all learned. That show thrust the mystic realm of SCIENCE forward into our living rooms in a friendly kind of way, and removed the barriers to knowledge that had seemed to bar the way before it.
Bill Nye taught us that science wasn't hard - it was FUN. And so it was. And it definitely wasn't just for boys anymore!
To have Bill Nye at the helm of The Planetary Society is a wise and prudent decision. To the layman Science can seem boring, incomprehensible or just not pertinent to the average person's daily grind. Mr. Nye humanizes science. He makes us believe that we are ALL a part of the glorious adventure of science and of planetary exploration. He makes us believe that we can strive forward, we should strive forward and that we must strive forward - with science as our foundation and facts as our guideposts.
The Planetary Society takes complex concepts and breaks them down into easily digestible hunks so that everyone can learn, everyone can comprehend and everyone can participate in the acquisition of scientific knowledge beyond what we knew before. The Planetary Society allows us to be so much more than we thought we could be. We are participants in the grand adventure of scientific knowledge and discovery!
The Planetary Society is an altruistic organization that seeks to educate, inform and enlighten all of us. It's organization that I whole heartedly support, both by my membership in it and by my earnest commitment to spreading the value of its message. It is an inclusive organization that values both boys and girls, men and women equally, and teaches us that we all matter, we all have an important voice, that we all have a "place in space." It is the most enjoyable and informative way for humanity to embrace science, to learn about things beyond us, things above us, things all around us. Us.
The Planetary Society provides everyone with the opportunity to be a contributing factor in the exploration of the universe. If that doesn't get you excited, check your pulse.
I have to say, I saw SpaceCowboy's review and just had to write and disagree. There may be an organization out there like what they describe, but the Planetary Society is not it.
I've been involved with the Planetary Society as a member and donor for many years. Why? Because honestly there is no one else doing what they do. Since Carl Sagan founded founded the place, it's been out there making sure space exploration continues. It's as simple as that. I love space, therefore I strongly support the Society.
It was a somewhat rocky transition, but as late I've been very happy with the new CEO Bill Nye. They're active, engaged, and engaging. I'm proud to continue to be a supporter of the Society.
I wish to remain anonymous for various reasons, however I feel that something should be said for the complete lack of professionalism within the organization. My wife and I have been long time donors, since the Sagan days, and always had a great relationship with Louis Friedman, more-so with their developmental director, Andrea. We believed that the Planetary Society was making great strides, but after the last (almost) two years, I can not comfortably say that I feel confident in them any longer. Their focus has gone away from their donors, including myself. The only person who has contacted me and keeps me informed of the on-going projects is Andrea since Lou has 'retired.' The new guy at the helm has lost sight of the passion that a lot of us feel, in my opinion at least. I can't even get straight answers from their new COO, who never returns my calls or emails. I am just fed up. I am actively seeking a new organization that appreciates the members/donors/space community because I have finally had it with Planetary Society. After almost 15 years, it is deeply disturbing that it has come to this. I think Lou and Andrea were the great ones who kept us as members and donors for such a long time, I just hope that this isn't the beginning of a sinking ship.