Despite widespread financial gloom, 2009 has been an excellent vintage for physics and astronomy. The Hubble Space Telescope‘s final servicing mission was declared a resounding success, LHC finally powered up after last year’s false start, several new astronomy satellites were launched and astronomers have tantalisingly reported a possible first-ever detection of dark matter particles. But in the UK, the year was closed on a blue note following an ominous pre-budget report in early December and the subsequent announcement of drastic cuts to the particle physics and astronomy programmes by the country’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, STFC.
For the sake of spreading the word to a wider community, I wrote a general overview blog post on the Lay Scientist blog about the funding cuts to British physics and astronomy research. Go read it here.