Banquet: Spitz Lecture

This video is also available for viewing on YouTube.

Susan Reynolds Button, Armand Spitz Lecturer

Susan Reynolds Button began her career as a kindergarten teacher, and then she taught 2nd grade, computers for grades K-9, math and language arts for grades 5-12, and theater and choreography for high school students.

Her interest in, and appreciation for, astronomy began as a child when she camped with her parents and siblings under the dark skies of northern Canada. With a mother who was an artist and poet, and a father who was an engineer and a self-taught banjo and guitar player, she developed a love for a broad spectrum of subjects.

In college she studied Education with an English minor, taking her first formal astronomy class as an elective. When an opportunity came to teach in a planetarium, Susan has related that she jumped at the chance, envisioning how fun it would be to capture students’ attention by incorporating science, literature, art, and music in lessons under the beautiful starry dome – and to play with the technology of the planetarium! It was not as easy as she imagined; the learning curve was steep and challenging.

Susan retired from working as a Portable Planetarium Director in 2003 and currently operates a part-time business, “Quarks to Clusters.” As a consultant she can now pass on knowledge and expertise to institutions, planetarium manufacturers, and individuals. Susan is the International Planetarium Society’s (IPS) Portable Planetarium Committee Chair and as an Associate Editor for the IPS quarterly journal, The Planetarian. She also served as IPS President.
ABSTRACT: The innate curiosity of humankind demands that we examine where interesting events start and end, as well as how, sometimes, endings are actually beginnings. This exploration of both time and space leads to the inevitable development of a cultural narrative that reflects on both the explored and the explorer. This narrative can expand our identity as well as our ability to experience a full and productive life; reflecting upon it can help us acquire wisdom.