I know it’s traditional to take this time to look back, and to look ahead. And while I’m not a traditional sort of fellow, I do want to take just a moment here and indulge myself. New Year’s is rather arbitrary for a number of reasons, but there is one substantive change that happens today.
As of right now, I am no longer President of the James Randi Educational Foundation. That job now falls on the able shoulders of my friend D. J. Grothe, who takes that position as of today, January 1, 2010. D. J. is, quite simply, a tremendous guy, and if this is the time for looking ahead, then I see great things happening with him at the helm. He brings loads of experience to the job as well as a fresh perspective. I won’t wish him luck — I don’t put much stock in either that verb or that noun, but I hardly need to. D. J. has earned my trust, and I know he’ll be great.
Like everyone else, I don’t know what 2010 will bring. I’m working on my sooper sekrit TV project, and I’ll have news for that in the coming months, no doubt. I’m hoping to let people see my tattoo very soon, too. I’ll let y’all know as soon as I’m able.
And for astronomy, the future is always uncertain. We have astonishing capabilities coming online, with Herschel, Kepler, and WISE opening their eyes. Hubble is newly refitted, and has already once again proven its worth. Cassini still dances around Saturn, returning one breathtaking image after another. And we still have Spitzer, Chandra, and a fleet of other space-borne instruments, as well as the solid ground-based observatories that are making vast leaps in our knowledge of the heavens.
But we’re still in a recession. Times are tough for everyone, and we’re still not sure as I write this just what President Obama has in store for NASA. We may find out as early as next week, at the annual American Astronomical Society meeting, which I’ll be attending. Hopefully I’ll have some fun stories and pictures from the meeting; there is always big news revealed then.
Anyway, enough rambling. You’re probably just reading this waiting for the antacid tablets to dissolve, so I’ll sign off for now. But stay tuned. One thing I don’t need psychic powers to predict: there will be lots of good news for science, as well as bad. Either way, I’ll be here to talk about it on this blog, as will my friends and colleagues at Discover Magazine and other sites.
Thanks to all my readers for the past year — the past decade. See you for the next one!