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Friday, February 08, 2008

both barrels

At a seminar in Edinburgh on 22 November 2007 Prof. John Womersley (Science and Technology Strategy, Director) gave some free advice:
  • fasten your seatbelts;
  • wait till you see the whole picture before reacting;
  • when the wagons are circled, remember to shoot outwards
Something that has just occurred to me is to wonder who it is on the outside that we should be shooting at. Surely not the government; Prof. Mason has said all along at how wonderful the government have been to us. Strange, perhaps Prof. Womersley meant someone else, or was not aware that the government aren't the bad guys in the beautiful world where the current problems are just 'rocks on the road to a brighter future.'

This has come up again because an editorial in Aviation Week, called Lost in the Mist (subscription required), makes reference to it. The editorial talks about how the MIST community ignored the last bit of advice from above, the loss of facilities such as Gemini and how it could all have been handled so much better, especially if money had been provided to allow for a more phased approach.

The Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar Terrestrial (MIST) interest group, far from shooting outward, has fired both barrels straight through the
wagon train.

True enough.

The thing here though is that it is only safe to be shooting out at the surrounding bad guys if the wagon-train leaders are not dancing around inside the circle, knifing you all in the kidneys whilst shouting that the bad guys outside are actually our bestest friends.

By the way does anyone else think that it is really funny that Prof. Womersley's talk ends with the 'Loony Toons' logo? Perfect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


We asked him where he got such a flattering picture of STF Council ;)

Actually, I think Womersley is the most impressive of the lot. He's honest, courteous and a good scientist. I could name at least three others who have none of these qualities.