Science Communication through the Lens of the Thirty-Meter Telescope Controversy

Author: Zechariah Pfaffenberger

Editors: William Dean, Alyse Krausz, and Sarah Kearns

 

The next-generation of astronomy and astrophysics might happen near the beautiful, sandy shores of Hawaii, but for astronomers, reaching this dream is no day at the beach. A battle is being waged in Hawaii’s tropical paradise, drawing in people from scientists to celebrities. On one side of this battle are the kānaka (native Hawaiians) and on the other, a partnership of astronomers from governments and universities. The cause of their disagreement is a thirty-meter telescope (TMT) and a sacred mountain. Although we might be disappointed by any delay in scientific progress, the story of the TMT teaches scientists about the current state of science communication practices and how we might do better. 

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