Posted by Junichi Noumaru on Aug 17, 2019
Immediate past president David De Luz, Jr. offered me (Junichi Noumaru) to talk at the Galaxy Forum held by International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) on August 17, 2019. The theme of the forum was "Astronomy from the Moon, and Hawaii 21st Century Business & Education Communities." Steve Durst, the founding director of ILOA introduced the project and told that the International Lunar Observatory or ILO-1 will be launched and will be landed to the south pole of the moon soon. I learned the Rotary helped build the ILOA's office building in Waimea.
Since David and I represented the Rotary, our talk focused on the relations between astronomy and business.
I talked a story how East Asian Observatory was established. Some people know that the story started in 1990 when the first East Asian Meeting for Astronomy was held in China. But there was a story behind this meeting that may be stretched back to 1970s. Dr. Norio Kaifu at Nobeyama Radio Observatory (NRO) was invited to Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing, China and met with Dr. Liu Cai Pin. Dr. Liu sent her students to NRO and promoted radio astronomy in China. Dr. Cho Se-Hyung was a visiting astronomer in NRO and returned to Korea after he got Ph.D. He played a key role in promoting radio astronomy in Korea. The East Asia Meeting for Astronomy was planned and organized by Dr. Kaifu, Dr. Liu and Dr. Cho. They invited astronomers from Taiwan where astronomy was on the rise.
East Asia Meeting was held 10 times until 2016 and many collaborative researches by astronomers in these areas were made. The astronomers talked dream of building an observatory in collaboration with China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan and finally the dream came true as East Asian Observatory that was established in 2015.
There are political issues among the four and the political relation in East Asia is unstable. But this is not the case in astronomy. Astronomy is the study to find the truth of the universe and the only reason why astronomers from each country compete each other is just that everyone wants to be the first person to find a truth. Astronomers are innocent but know how they can work together beyond border lines.
David showed a Rotary wheel with astronomy in center. Various organizations surround astronomy, then business and education surround the organizations. Astronomy is the glue to stick various organizations even countries together. And business and education support astronomy through various organizations. David emphasized that astronomy itself is a business of which mission is to reveal mysteries of the universe because business is not a dirty word but is a method to achieve the goal. Astronomy is the study and the business that are very suitable to unite people, not to separate. And East Asian Observatory proved it.