Yesterday’s announcement from the Science and Technology Facilities Council was everything scientists had feared it to be, Britain has announced its withdrawal from over 20 large projects and is slashing 25% of studentships and fellowships. For astronomy some notable names are Gemini, the facilities on La Palma (including the robotic Liverpool Telescope) and UKIRT. In addition, the Dutch community will not be pleased with the news of Britain’s withdrawal from two of its flagship radio astronomy projects, LOFAR and JIVE. I haven’t seen any official responses from the Netherlands but will keep an eye out for those – although Astron Director Mike Garrett’s reaction on twitter was telling:
#STFC UK cuts – here ends a very dark and dismal day for international collaboration in radio astronomy… where do we go from here?
I gather that many British physicists and astronomers are feeling a little shell-shocked today after the announcements. There will certainly be an interesting road up ahead to work out what happens now. I don’t have much to add to what has been said all over the web – so like yesterday I’ll just post a round-up of links on the STFC cuts. I set up an archive for tweets hashtagged #stfc here, which will remain there permanently, and will continue to collect tweets into an xml file. I’ll try to create a Google spreadsheet once the dust has settled and make it available online for anyone who’s interested.
- Royal Astronomical Society (Andy Fabian)
- Institute of Physics (Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell)
- Lord Drayson, UK science minister
- Prospect, a major union
- Added 18/12: Ian Douglas writes of a bad day for physicists in the Telegraph blogs
- The Guardian
- Physics World talks of “savage cuts”
- The Times focuses on nuclear physics
- ScienceInsider talks of scientists being ‘dissatisfied’ by the cuts. That’s putting it mildly.
- Roger Highfield asks if British nuclear physics is doomed in New Scientist.
- Paul Crowther – for the gory details
- Subjective Science
- Leaves on the Line (Andrew Jaffe) – good overview and lots of links
- Peter Coles gives a running commentary of the day
- To the Left of Centre gives another balanced post
- Andy’s post from yesterday has gathered a whole lot of interesting comments
- Phil talks about a ‘cold winter’ for British physics