2008 UK Year Against Astronomy

With the dawn of 2008 approaching, the outlook for UK astronomy and particle physics is bleak. There was no Christmas present from the Treasury so the STFC still have their GBP 80 million budget 'hole'. They look set to obliterate UK Solar and Terrestrial physics, reduce UK university physics department's funding by 25% (or more?) and decimate the rest of astronomy. As a result we could very well see large numbers of researchers leaving the UK to find jobs oversees during 2008. All this in the year before the exciting International Year of Astronomy is pretty disgraceful and it may be difficult for the remaining UK astronomers to be enthusiastic in 2009.

Looking on the bright side, the bull in a china shop approach by STFC has at least brought the entire UK astronomy and particle physics community together in a big way. Physicists the length and breadth of the land are joining together against the Government with the aim of saving the UK's reputation in these fields. Organising scientific researchers is popularly described as being like "herding cats" so it is pretty amazing that there are now websites, petitions, letters to The Times, letters to MPs, and a letter to the Secretary of State campaigning to reverse the cuts. Hopefully these positive actions (and yours gentle reader) will prove the title of this post wrong. Here's wishing that 2008 will turn out much better than currently expected.

Save Astronomy

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 29th Dec 2007 (12:30 GMT) | Permalink
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