Aug 14, 2008 | 2
Many researchers were none too happy when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted in 2006 to cast Pluto out from among the planets, demoting it along with similar bodies in the solar system to the status of mere dwarf planets.
Some of them would still like to reverse that decision, or at least convince the public that the IAU process did not reflect the give and take of workaday science. Hence "The Great Planet Debate: Science as Process," a three-day conference under way right now at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
As I write, conference co-organizer and vocal Pluto booster Mark Sykes, director of the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona, is set to duke it out this afternoon in a public debate with dwarf planet-proponent Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York.
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