In my previous post “Yes we can change. Why the DMV should change its name” I tried to make some advertisement for the petition that the “Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung” should change its name to “Deutsche Mathematische Vereinigung”.

Yesterday I received the new issue of the Mitteilungen der DMV and there is the result:

  • Votes cast:

1007

  • Valid votes:

1000

  • Invalid votes:

7

  • Votes for the name change:

463

  • Votes against the name change:

530

  • Abstentions:

7

So, 53% votes against the change and hence, the DMV will stick to the meaning of “Union of Mathematicians” rather than “Union for Mathematics”.

On the one hand, this sound like a fairly close-run. But one the other hand I was surprised that so many people actually actively voted against the change. This seems to show that there is really a non negligible fraction of people who really have something against the proposed name and is not only  in favor of keeping things as they are and, in consequence, make the effort to submit a vote against. Moreover, Martin Skutella writes in his editorial of the current issue of the Mitteilungen (in my own translation):

Reassuring, that the DMV braves, firm as a rock, the short-lived zeitgeist!

Hmm, I am not sure what he is intended to say (keeping in mind that his editorials are usually somehow satirically). In case there is no irony involved: Is he really trying to say that the change the DMV made in the last decade from a society which serves the mathematicians only (which basically meant professors at German universities) to an organization which sees its central mission to promote mathematics as a whole and on a broad scale ranging from pupils over student, researchers to business people and companies is just short-lived zeitgeist and in a few years we are back to the times in which the members of the DMV were only research mathematicians (at least professors) and when the Mitteilungen der DMV only contained latest news on the daily grind of a math professor at a university?

I am not sure, but I hope the name “Deutsche Mathematiker Vereinigung” will not hold back any of the “new” target audience (like pupils, students, teachers, math people in companies,…) to join the DMV.

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