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Pluto Politics Hits Springfield

The Illinois State Legislature is taking on the cause of Pluto, according to an article in the Daily Herald:

Like some sort of rulers of the universe, state lawmakers are considering restoring little Pluto's planetary status, casting aside the scientific community's 2006 decision downgrading the distant ice ball.

An Illinois Senate committee on Thursday unanimously supported planet Pluto and declaring March 13 "Pluto Day." The idea now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

See Pluto Politics Hits Springfield for the full story.

(Thanks to fellow traveler ffoeg for the tip.)


And here I was, thinking you meant our Springfield instead of one of those johnny-come-lately Springfields!
That's my state folks.
Overheard in the Autism classroom I worked in, "In this classroom, Pluto is STILL a planet!"
If this passes, what is the likelihood that other states will consider similar measures?
I'm curious, do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

On the one hand, I know you're all for promoting Pluto's planetary status. On the other hand, isn't it a little worrying when a state legislature blatantly disregards the decisions of the scientific community?
I have to admit that I tend to be more amused than worried by this sort of legislation. But I'd probably be a lot less amused if it were promoting creationism over evolution.

One of the things to remember, also, is that I'm a part of that scientific community, and I'm one of the ones who opposed the IAU's final decision. I still have concerns about the procedural issues of the vote. (They took the vote on the last day of the Assembly, when many of their members had already left, and most of the people voting were not planetary scientists but astronomers of a different sort.)

December 2016

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