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The Planetary Society
July 24, 2013

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.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep the children's insert in the magazine and not just online. I still love reading it and trying out the experiments!

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2013

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