Jodrell Bank spared the chop
Sci-Tech Facilities Council sees sense
The UK's celebrated Jodrell Bank has been granted a reprieve by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the BBC reports.
The STFC had proposed to axe the annual £2.5m public funding for eMerlin - an upgrade to the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network between the UK's seven radio telescopes, run from Jodrell Bank - in the process flushing the £8m already spent on the project down the toilet and killing Britain's radio telescopy capability.
The plan met with something close to complete outrage in the UK's science community, but Jodrell's operator, Manchester University, says it has now agreed a deal with the STFC which "guarantees full funding for the next two years". This, the uni adds, will allow it a breathing space to seek long-term funding.
Professor Alan Gilbert, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, enthused: "We are delighted that the STFC has recognised the scientific importance of eMerlin and the Square Kilometre Array*, and that they have provided a commitment to fund these important projects, which will guarantee the future of Jodrell Bank." ®
*The Beeb explains: "The lessons learned on eMerlin will be fed into the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project - a giant next-generation radio telescope, for which Jodrell is leading the development work."
Richard's Image Problem
Of course, if any kind of institution is planning on communicating what it does to the public, it should try and do so effectively. However, JB's old visitor centre was pretty good, and if you'd studied any astronomy then a lot more of it made sense. Sure, some of the stuff was old - not a problem, given its *historical* importance.
The big problem with Royston Vasey, erm, Great Britain these days is that it's all about image. Instead of actually doing stuff, it's all about standing in front of a blue screen flailing one's arms and legs and shouting, "Whoosh! I'm off into outer space!" Instead of actually going there or sending stuff there.
Great Britain: rapidly becoming the superfluous marketing department of Planet Earth.
According to the local paper
It is the 3rd largest steerable RT in the world, and took quite a while to get off the ground. It was also the *ONLY* thing around that could track Sputnik at the time, so if it hadn't been there a lot of (now) historical stuff such as the imaging of the dark side of the moon wouldn't have happened. (@detractors) I can just imagine: Google Moon: This image not available. Just where do you think all the info for Google Earth comes from? A Kodak Instamatic? Or should we just get rid of it and replace it with a few shops selling 3rd world tat? At least then we'd be all fashionable.
@Fragula. The trip to it is weird. Did it in the dark once, which was quite mental as it was everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
@ Orionman: Isn't there a transmitter on the moon (it's still transmitting data) to disprove your nonesense?
We might all be sat in the dark cos the government has scared itself to death over mad scientists building "dirty" bombs, (something that is yet to happen AFAIK). Now they want Saudis (where Bin Laden hails from) or Iranians (alleged axis of evil) to build nuke power stations because we no longer have the expertise to do so.
Go because this is probably the last bit of proper science left
Clearly Faked where they? Been reading all that crap from people who think they know what they are talking about? -- "There are no stars on the pictures taken on the moon"
I bet you believe that the attacks on the US on 11th Sept. 2001 where a conspiracy too.