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Saturday, December 15, 2007

More on the STFC meeting of doom

Another exchange from the STFC town meeting of doom has me puzzled and agog.

Apparently one of my colleagues asked about STFC's interest in climate change. This was in direct response to the one of the new nine 'big science questions' described in the strategy delivery document: "How does our climate work?"

My colleague commented that studies of solar physics and the sun-earth connection are rather important here and made the point that ground-based STP is an important element of that.

Keith Mason's alleged response was to suggest that NERC ought to fund ground-based STP in that case.

Hold on a minute. STFC declares that they want to know how our climate works and yet thinks that NERC should fund instruments that can play a role in answering that question??? If I am interpreting his answer correctly Mason believes that climate change is in the purview of NERC, yet in his own strategy delivery document he has climate change as one of the fundamental questions STFC should answer. As this stands it makes absolutely no sense unless one concludes that Mason just thinks that ground-based STP should be eliminated.

What am I missing here? What sort of answer was that? Is the man not aware of his own research council's strategy?

1 comment:

P. Legg said...

I'm a British particle physicist working on the continent.

With rising anger and despair I've followed this story. I hope things work out for you guys.

If you didn't already know, there will be a Parliamentary inquiry in January. Mason, amongst others, will be called to give evidence. It will be extremely interesting to get to the bottom of this mess and see him put properly on the spot.

Please keep up the posts on this topic. I find your page very useful.