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[…] got back to the UK – got very little from the observing run (more on which soon) – but Andy’s reporting that the UK is at least temporarily back in Gemini. The release from the board, here says […]
We didn’t really get an ‘explanation’ for the Gemini volte-face in the US, just a plain ‘This is how it is’. Was it pure embarrassment at hasty action? Or was pressure applied…? Looking forward to your investigative blogging. yom, -martin
In fact, here is the actual email:
Subject: Gemini update
To: lots of US astronomers…
From: Todd Boroson , “Verne V. Smith”
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 17:10:57 -0700 (MST) (19:10 EST)
We were notified today (Feb 11) that the Gemini Executive Agency and the
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) have agreed on terms of
discussion for possible continued U.K. participation in the Gemini
partnership. The situation is still developing; however, the Gemini
Board has asked that the 2008A U.K. approved observing programs be
reinstated into the Gemini telescope schedules. We apologize for this
reversal of our previous announcement.
An update describing this latest Gemini Board action can be found at the
Feel free to contact either of us if you have comments or questions.
Todd Boroson (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Interim Director, NOAO
Verne V. Smith (email@example.com ), Director, NOAO Gemini Science Center (NGSC)
I wouldn’t get too excited about this. I have seen no evidence of any change of approach from STFC, they still intend to withdraw from Gemini and ILC and most damaging they still intend to cut grants. More, this looks like the Gemini board backing down, realising that what they were about to do would put them in a bad position vis a vis claiming compensation from Britain for early withdrawal.