Reply To: Star Count results

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Brian Mills

As the writer of the letter to the BAA Journal perhaps I could comment.

I had contacted CPRE for each of the last three years taking issue with their campaigns and claims about data validity. They have at times suggested carrying out the count with the Moon above the horizon and with the Sun less than 18 degrees below it. This year their advertising material showed participants carrying out the count from indoors with the light on. They also suggested that it was only necessary to allow ones eyes to adapt for “… a few moments…” all of which immediately renders any results worthless.
The response from the CPRE was that the count was simply intended to get people “looking up” which, in the right context, would be creditable. However, it is not possible to encourage such a cursory approach to data collection and at the same time expect that it be taken seriously.
Yes, by all means encourage everyone to look up at the night sky, but if they do it in such a casual manner, they ought not to be surprised when governments fail to act on their results.

Brian Mills