ISWI Newsletter - Vol.2 No.4
12 January 2010

Dear ISWI Participant:

As is often the case, to know where one is going one needs to know where one came from. We are now in transition from IHY ("a done deal") to ISWI (a wide open frontier).

Fortunately, IHY was well-documented by its participants. In this issue, I present representative documentation (Items 2, 3, and 4 of the attached pdf). Other documents have already been sent out via the ISWI Newsletter or are in the Newsletter Pipeline.

Item 1 of the attached pdf is a special message from Dr Hans Haubold (UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna) to the entire IHY/ISWI community as we embark on the new ISWI program for the next 156 weeks. Surely, as we stand on 50 years (between IGY and IHY) of mammoth achievement by scientists and engineers, this month is a very auspicious month , the official start of ISWI. (Incidentally, the ISWI logo contest ends on 15 January 2010; it is not yet closed.)

Briefly, the four attached items (tagged in yellow boxes at the top of each cover sheet) are:

Item 1. Letter (dated 10 January 2010) written by Dr Hans Haubold; it is addressed to you.

Item 2. IAU document on IHY by Representative David F. Webb.

Item 3. IAU document by Commission 46 on "Astronomy Education and Development".

Item 4. IAU document by Commission 46 on "Collaborative Programmes".

Collectively, these documents richly describe the various aspects of IHY. We should warmly acknowledge the work performed by all the participants of IHY --- so that their legacy is not forgotten and so that we can encourage young men and women to continue this international effort, today and forever, and with hope.

The future is very bright because the ISWI Newsletter Editor is an unrepentant optimist about mankind. So I conclude this issue of the ISWI Newsletter with one of my favorite lines from a book regarding optimism/pessimism :
"In this world, the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when wrong, they are positive, and that is the way of achievement, correction, improvement, and success. Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of being right."
(from "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by David S. Landes, page 524 of hardback edition, 1998, W.W. Norton & Company)
George Maeda
Editor-in-Chief, ISWI Newsletter
Fukuoka, Japan.