As had been reported on in an earlier Astronotes blog article, the International Astronomical Union was putting to the vote whether to change the name of the law relating to the expansion of the universe.  Of the 11,000 professional astronomers entitled to vote on the motion, over 4,000 did.  The change in name, to Hubble-Lemaitre, was overwhelmingly supported by the IAU’s members.  78% voted in favour, 20% against and 2% abstained.

These numbers mirrored the vote held during the IAU General Assembly, held in Vienna in August 2018.  However then only 500 of the IAU members had been present.  Its clear from this vote that their views were representative of the wider body of professional astronomers worldwide.

As reported by the IAU: “One of the IAU’s roles is to foster exchanges of views and international discussions.  It strives to contribute to scientific discourses with historical facts. To honour the intellectual integrity and the supremely significant discovery by George Lemaître, the IAU is pleased to recommend that the expansion of the Universe be referred to as the Hubble–Lemaître law.”

For further details on the vote, please see the IAU Press Release.

Vote among National Members at 2018 GA (not related to the Hubble–Lemaître law).


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