SKA leak

Following the earlier teaser, rumours about the SKA site recommendation are leaking out through the press. South Africa has gone into a clear lead. Note careful use of word “recommendation”. An expert committee has made an evaluation on scientific and technical grounds, but the real decision is with the SKA Board, with voting members from China, UK, the Netherlands, and Italy. Firstly, there are quite properly financial, management, and political issues to consider. Secondly, the technical evaluation was apparently quite close. So the fat lady ain’t sung yet, but I guess if you are on your way to the bookies, you will find the Australian odds somewhat lengthened.

The leak appeared first in the Sydney Morning Herald. There is a video interview at that link with somebody called Dan Flitton, who seems to be the channel rather than the source of the leak. Official sources are of course doing the no-comment thing, but nobody seems to have denied Flitton’s statement, and the story has been repeated – in South Africa, in Business Day  and the Mail and Guardian ; on the BBC news site; and in Nature News. The Nature article implies that they have their own source. Its all interestingly different from earlier rumours of a possible merger.

Its now spreading round the usual news re-cyclers and aggregators, with nothing new as far as I can tell. Slashdot has a classic internet style discussion. All sorts of random gibberish, misundertandings, and vileness, with the odd genuine insight sprinkled in, including some suggestions of the technical pros and cons. Take a look if you feel up to holding your nose as you wade past the trolls.

Anyhoo. Board meets April 4th. Albert, JW, you may decline to comment of course.

À suivre, as our French chums say.

8 Responses to SKA leak

  1. Albert says:

    I cannot possibly comment..but the first I heard was the story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Politics has gone in overdrive and apparently Australia has opened an exhibition in the European parliament, on Aboriginal SKA art. It is good to see a telescope in such high demand (over-subscription factor of two), and the argument that astronomy is an effective form of development aid, which is now made by both sides, should help us in our own impact cases.

  2. John Womersley says:

    I shall decline to comment :-)

  3. andyxl says:

    Tweeters may have noticed that JW reports that SKA Board has met with Site Selection Committee and concluded their discussions. The fat lady is making warming up noises in the wings but has not yet sung in public. They now have to convene a “meeting of the SKA stakeholders” to discuss the recommendation.

  4. andyxl says:

    There is another Nature News Blog item here. It seems that people are still going out to dinner together, so politics doesn’t spoil everything.

    • I once heard that during the Civil War between the USA and the CSA, opposing troops would meet at night for coffee. Don’t know if it’s true. As Abraham Lincoln said, it is difficult to verify the veracity of quotations found on the internet.

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