Gemini : back from the brink

Interesting announcement from Gemini Board :

Update on the UK status in Gemini — updated February 11, 2008

Negotiations have been re-opened, and UK time re-instated. US community members have had an email explaining the volte-face. Presumably something official will coem from STFC soon…

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4 Responses to Gemini : back from the brink

  1. […] 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 […]

  2. Martin E. 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

  3. Martin E. says:

    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
    following website:

    http://www.gemini.edu/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=273

    Feel free to contact either of us if you have comments or questions.

    Todd Boroson (tyb@noao.edu ), Interim Director, NOAO

    Verne V. Smith (vsmith@noao.edu ), Director, NOAO Gemini Science Center (NGSC)

  4. dave says:

    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.

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