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Monday, February 18, 2008

PP supports RAS statement

Following the welcome statement from the RAS I see that the Particle Physics action group has sent an email to Keith Mason, Peter Knight and Peter Warry expressing their full support.

A positive response from STFC is required to restore confidence in the processes in the public funding of fundamental science in the UK and to begin to repair the damage that has been undoubtedly been done to our international reputation.

This is very good. Though I worry that STFC will just go straight back into spin mode and tell us how wonderfully they have been responding to the problem and that they understand our pain but hard choices need to be made. Oh and then they will tell us that physics has a bright future.

I doubt that much can be done whilst the current management are in place - I know many feel that even if STFC make changes now nothing will stop them from doing it all over again. Reports have it that irritation and annoyance is how STFC are perceived to have met the protests. That is not a good sign.

When the dust settles my field will have been destroyed and I will be off doing something else, life goes on. Except that next time, when more cuts have to be made there won't be any STP left to go, or Gemini, or ILC, or gamma ray astronomy, or Daresbury, or ATC, etc. So someone else will have to go. Think about it.

Next CSR, more hard decisions will have to be made, that is the message that is being quietly spread in a number of meetings. If you feel safe now, don't, because you aren't.

I wonder if Prof. Mason is a fan of the Clash, they once sang about having to make a hard decision. Perhaps he should consider that one.

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