Sophia Centre Review

September 2020


The Journal of Dark Sky Studies

I am a student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, pursuing graduate studies in Cultural Astronomy through the Sophia Centre. Currently, I am engaged in research for my MA dissertation, which is focused upon "dark sky friendly" LED street light retrofits. Dark skies are of concern to us all, as more than eighty percent of the world's population lives under light polluted skies and can no longer experience the wonder of a rich, starry sky. Learning more about the myriad issues brought about by light pollution is fascinating and I am keen to channel my research interests in such a way that my work can be of use to communities interested in preserving their dark skies.

Thus, I was elated when I was asked to serve as Cultural Astronomy Editor on the editorial board for the new Journal of Dark Sky Studies (JDSS). This journal aims to serve as an academic forum for various disciplines related to dark skies and will publish papers in areas such as measurement and modeling, ecological impacts, health and well-being, cultural astronomy, tourism, design, architecture and planning, policy and law, and education and outreach. In addition to peer-reviewed content in the areas discussed above, the journal will also include a creative section for writing, photography/video, and art pertinent to dark skies, as well as a third section focused specifically on highlighting current issues in outdoor lighting policy and related community engagement.

The journal is based at the University of Utah, where the Consortium for Dark Sky Studies (CDSS) was founded in 2017. CDSS is an academic center devoted to ‘facilitating research that is both trans-disciplinary and multi-institutional’, and is focused on sharing knowledge about dark skies through scientific and cultural lenses. The University was also recently awarded a grant in order to create the very first undergraduate minor in Dark Sky Studies in the U.S.

The journal will be published twice a year. The inaugural issue (published August 2019) was a special fold-out edition with a map of the world (with information on dark sky places and initiatives across the globe) on one side and on the other - a review of the importance of dark skies, their relevance to human society past and present, and the current scope and magnitude of light pollution. Going forward, most issues will be of a more conventional online format. See the following links to learn more about the journal and related initiatives!

By Jessica Heim

Edited by Kathleen White


News of the journal's launch

Consortium for Dark Sky Studies

International Dark Sky Association

Welcome to the public outreach page of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, with information about studying with the University, as well as links to related conferences, classes, publications and events. To go straight to the Sophia Centre's University page please go here.

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