Mike Simmons


There are probably hundreds of organizations "without borders".  The most famous, and one of the first, is Doctors without Borders (or properly Medecins sans Frontieres for this organization based in France), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.  Reporters without Borders has been in the news quite a lot as well (naturally). Translators without Borders is a natural as well.

But have you heard of Surfers without Borders?  How about Water without Borders?  Monks without Borders?  All real, and all doing good work.

The plethora of "without borders" organizations is the subject of an article on the MatadorChange web site, and Astronomers Without Borders is there (between Artists without Borders and Bands without Borders). The article has good things to say about AWB and our web site.

Does AWB stand out from the crowd of "without borders" organizations?  I think it does.   First there is the "without borders" premise.  How many organizations truly have no borders?  Astronomers may be separated by geography and real borders, but the sky belongs to all of us and we share it with each other without the problems that borders can create down here on the ground.  Our cultures all include references to the celestial sphere, something that can't be claimed by many social groups.  Now with the internet we can interact in almost as many ways as in physical space.  It's tough for Soccer without Borders or Basketball without Borders to get a game together in cyberspace.  Bees without Borders, Dogs without Borders and Alpacas without Borders will all have a tough time getting together without a lot of travel for them and their humans.

One thing I'm sure of -- Astronomers Without Borders has to be the fastest-growing of all.  AWB's progress in just a few years is amazing.  Maybe a friend was right when he told me I was thinking too small; that we should be Astronomers Without Inter-Galactic Borders.  Maybe some day, but for now we've got plenty to do here on Earth.

One People, One Sky




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    About Me

    I'm president of Astronomers Without Borders.


    Location:Calabasas, CA
    United States of America (the)