GAM 2012 Blog

April 14

By Peggy Walker

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It has been said that, Every “cause” has an “effect” or is it “affect” or is it both? Do astronomers feel affected or touched by the AWB Mission of “One People, One Sky”that they come “under the influence” to the degree they attach their energies to this program? OR does this AWB volunteer base see the accomplished results, then become so moved emotionally – they hitch up their wagon and join the crowd?

It is a little bit like the “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” What ever order – the AWB affecteffects us.

According to Webster’s Dictionary – Affect means:

- To act upon or have an “effect” upon, to influence
- To touch or move emotionally
- To attach or attain

Effect means:

- Something brought about by some cause or agency; result; consequence
- Capacity to produce some result; efficacy
- The state of being operative; condition or fact of being an active force
- The potential way in which something “affects” or influences something else
- The overall reaction or impression produced by something seen, heard or done
- To bring about; produce as a result; cause – especially to accomplish or achieve.

The two forces that are in place during Astronomers Without Borders,’ Global Astronomy Month are: 1) the “force that moves upon to produce feelings that result in change of emotion” also-known-as an “affect” and, 2) the “reaction that is the influence or consequence to change something else, hence “effect.”

GAM clearly affects amateur and professional astronomers by provoking feelings of great change and goodwill as they conduct astronomy outreach. However, by May 1st, GAM has successfully produced new relationships and partnerships that transcends borders that not only effects the personal level – but effects the global community.

Every year the shockwaves of GAM affects an effect because the growth and awareness of the AWB Brand – is exponential and reverberates and builds momentum and anticipation throughout the year until GAM occurs once again with greater participation, new programs and greater awareness.

So, I guess the best way to define it would be……..

“Because AWB’s GAM acts upon or has an “effect” upon, to influence, touch and move emotionally, many attach their energies and time in order to attain some cause, result or consequence. GAM has the capacity to produce some result; efficacy, through the state of being operative; and promotes a condition of being an active force, having huge potential. This is how GAM “affects” or influences something else, sparks an overall reaction or impression because it produced something seen, heard or done. When it is all said and done, it successfully brought about; produced a result or an accomplishment or achievement beyond most expectations”.

Is it the efficacy in tearing down the geo-political and religious borders?

Is it the increased awareness of the crucial campaigns and finding like-minded partnering organizations with the same mission?

Is it the cutting edge new programs?

Is it the countless accessible resources?

Is it the way a perfect environment is generated whereby we see each other in the way we were originally meant to – as our fellow brother and sisters sharing the same sky?

Of course some would say that true success is measured based on the outcome. That works in most business models for there are people who get paid to figure this out.

Astronomers Without Borders is the standard that may not in reality – be able to measure all the real effects it makes. After all, how can one truly measure those moments where we are affected down to our core of humanity? Most of us can’t even put it into words.

So the question really is - How will GAM Affect your Effect in 2012? Only you can answer that.


Peggy Walker is an amateur astronomer from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with a passion for outreach.  She currently serves as AWB’s Coordinator for National Coordinator Network, and as the National Coordinator for the US.  She is co-chairing the Disabilities Working Group for GAM 2012 and plans to utilize the many resources gathered this year.  Peggy and her husband Rick conduct monthly sidewalk events (BA Sidewalk Astronomer on Facebook), as well as classes at the library and special presentations.