Consultation pile-up

Got an email today about the consultation being held by the Far Universe Advisory Panel. I find the acronym FUAP somehow unsettling. Its like a pastiche of Dr Johnson. “I say to you sir, FUAP !” Anyhoo. I see the Nichol has set up his own FUAP website in Portsmouth, and the official STFC advisory panels page says “nothing to do with us gov”. Seems any ole fule can set up a wiki these days. Not that Bob Nichol is any ole fule. Force of Nature our Bob.

[Yet another Google advert : it really is easy. Forget twiki and mediawiki and Trac and all that. Just check out Google Sites ]

The consultations are piling up. Just keep filling in those questionnaires, and we will reach astronomical heaven, like the giants of old piling Pelion upon Ossa.

Near University Advisory Panel : blew it. Deadline was June 5th.

Ground Based Facilities Review Town Meeting : July 9th

Far Universe Advisory Panel questionnaire : July 10th

Particle Astrophysics Advisory Panel questionnaire : July 10th

Ground Based Facilities Review questionnaire : July 31st

There is also a website for the Particle Physics Advisory Panel, but it doesn’t seem to have a questionnaire. Somehow, particle physicists just mysteriously know what they are doing. The Nuclear Physics Advisory Panel doesn’t seem to have a website. Maybe they know what they are doing and there is no need for anybody else to know.

Earlier today I bumped into to a member of FUAP, who described the consultation as “our bargain basement version of the decadal survey”. One obvious difference is that our consultations are fixed format questionnaires. (“Do you beat your wife (a) every day (b) once per week or (c) only when necessary ?”). No unsolicited white papers here thank you.

18 Responses to Consultation pile-up

  1. Simon Morris says:

    Hi Andy – since we are all Europeans now, one could add two more:

    European-Extremely Large Telescope Design Reference Science Plan: June 30th,

    ASTRONET/OPTICON European Telescope Strategy Review Committee (2-4m telescopes): July 31st,

  2. BenP says:

    Near University Advisory Panel? All very interesting, but I wasn’t aware that Heriot-Watt and Napier fell under STFC’s research remit…

  3. Nick Cross says:

    The ground based facilities questionnaire link seems to link to the particle-astrophysics questionnaire instead.

  4. andyxl says:

    aaghhh ok ok looks like I will do an update

  5. telescoper says:

    I’ll be reviewing the Facilities at a Ground myself on July 9th, but it will be during the First Ashes Test against Australia at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff!

  6. andyxl says:

    Test cricket in Wales ?? What kind of heresy is this ?

  7. telescoper says:

    There’s no Ashes Test at Old Trafford this year. Moved to Cardiff because the ground is better.

  8. Tony says:

    Next thing you know they’ll let the Scots play!

  9. telescoper says:

    hmmmph…remember that “England” – at least as far as cricket is concerned – is and has been for some time actually “England and Wales”. The relevant governing body is the England & Wales Cricket Board and many fine Welsh players have played Test cricket for “England” over the years.

  10. andyxl says:

    ..err .. how come my terribly serious astropolitics post has turned into a pub cricket discussion ? Shum mishtake shurely ?

  11. telescoper says:

    Mea Culpa

  12. ian smail says:

    …so why not say something provocative about the STFC budget announcement?

    or the fact that the FUAP “questionnaire” is as open-ended as a cul-de-sac?

  13. andyxl says:

    Ian. (a) like what ? (b) thought I did – see wife beating segment.

  14. ian smail says:

    STFC Budget 2009/10 – it quickly got pushed off their front page…

  15. Ken Rice says:

    That the Science Board “endorsed the approach” being taken “with regret” (another press release that quickly left the homepage) suggests – to me – that there isn’t really much to say.

  16. Dave Carter says:

    Ian, at least FUAP have (mostly) addressed science issues, with the objective of identifying the key science questions, and only then the facilities which address them. That is the right way round.

  17. […] (in cash terms) a few years down the line. There are several ongoing consultation exercises (see Andy’s discussion and my earlier post for details) which will no doubt be used to draw up hit lists that will be used […]

  18. Michael Merrifield says:

    As time goes on, I understand the scope of the ground-based facilities review less and less. Given the different scale of funding required, why on Earth are we trying to tension huge international projects like E-ELT and SKA against relatively modest national facilities like the Liverpool Telescope, just because they both happen to have their foundations on terra firma?

    If we are scientists, then the argument is simply one of what science returns we get from a given investment. Whether the instrument is placed on Mercury, at L2 or on the top of a mountain should surely not be a deciding issue.

    Even if we are hardened cynics who think that Governments fund astronomy to support their high-tech industries, then surely we should recognize that industry is primarily interested in the size of the contracts that it might be in line for, not where that investment ultimately ends up.

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