Statement from IPS Board Candidate in Latin America
Please vote even though there is only one candidate; ballot available 1 Oct 2019.
My name is Alexandre Cherman. I am a Brazilian astronomer and I work at the Rio de Janeiro Planetarium. My original career goal was to become a researcher in cosmology (I have a Ph.D. in theoretical physics), but as I graduated from college, I started working at the Rio Planetarium as a “junior astronomer.” Twenty-three years later, I am its director, responsible for this big institution, with three domes (two of which are digital, and the third one being a 23m dome, the largest in my country), a science museum, and the mission to bring astronomy to the largest public school system in Latin America.
My one and only job has been a planetarian. This is what I do. This is who I am.
As a planetarian, I have traveled the world (literally and figuratively). In fact, I have traveled to many different worlds (only figuratively, unfortunately). I have made many friends and I have learned many things. My involvement with IPS began rather early in my career. In 2002 I was attending my first IPS Conference in Wichita. And since then, I only missed a few of those conferences.
I was privileged to have attended the only IPS Conference in the southern hemisphere, in Melbourne. One year later, thanks to Susan Button’s generosity, the Rio Planetarium hosted IPS’ Council Meeting. This brought some light onto IPS, which made some Brazilian planetariums join. And that is how the Association of Brazilian Planetariums became an affiliate. (And I became a council member.)
I represented IPS during the IAU General Assembly of 2009. And just a year later, in Alexandria, I was nominated to run for president-elect. I did not get the position, but it was an honor and a privilege to run for office. Talking about privilege: in 2011, Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2014 Conference; we lost to Beijing. We bid again for the 2018 Conference, this time losing to Toulouse. Maybe the third time's the charm, like they say…
In 2012 I became a Fellow of IPS. And just the next year, I was elected president of the Association of Brazilian Planetariums (after serving six years as its scientific director). I currently serve as ABP’s vice-president and editor-in-chief of its journal. I’m an IPS Council Member and an associated editor for its journal.
I’m very active in Brazil and I have strong ties to the neighboring countries, being a founding member of the Association of South American Planetariums (APAS). After being a presenter at V Festival Internacional de Planetarios (Mexico City, 2018), I have made many friends in Mexico. Having met my fellow planetarians from different parts of Latin America, I would be honored to put my experience and my personal network at their disposal, working together to make this part of the world thrive.
Nominated by Association of Brazilian Planetariums