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Monday, February 11, 2008

Some good news for UK astronomy

Via Paul Crowther's web page.

Terms for discussion of possible continued involvement in Gemini have been agreed. Since the UK has now committed to continue operations payments during 2008, and open negotiations for continued participation in Gemini (at some level), the board has conditionally reinstated 2008A UK observing time allocations for both telescipes.

The Board asks that the Chair and Designated Members, including the UK, meet face-to-face at the earliest opportunity to further discussion of possible continued UK involvement in Gemini.

It looks as if STFC has managed to do something right. Well done to those involved. Let us hope for astronomy's sake that they manage to hammer out a proper deal for continued access.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The words "stich up" are leaping to mind here with gravity-defying vigor. It always seemed unconvincing that Gemini was cut in the first place, but no, STFC had to be seen to be "fair", cutting facilities from all areas of space science.

So, of course, the inevitable uproar occurs and then, lo-and-behold, STFC save the day, "astronomy" had been saved, and STFC have what they wanted all along: cuts where they want them, but with the bulk of astronomers now happily forgetting about any support for other areas of space science for which they were beginning to show some allegiance.

Kav said...

I am not so convinced that the anger in the astronomy community could be so easily placated. Remember that 25% of cuts are being applied to the grants line as we speak. Time will tell.

Of course it is a sunny, beautiful day and so I am feeling optimistic...