Don’t panic yet …

September 30, 2009

The advisory panels have done their thing and reported to PPAN. The report of the Far Universe Advisory Panel can be found at this link, and that of the Near Universe etc can be found here. Both panels are offering one last chance to comment – FUAP has a deadline of Oct 8th, and NUAP will be telling us soon.

The reports have some interesting differences. The FUAP report has a very long term feel to it, concentrating on Big Questions and the “Crown Jewels”, meaning JWST, ALMA, ELT, and SKA, with barely a mention of the role of existing facilities. The NUAP report is more nitty gritty, with a mapping of ongoing programmes onto current facilities, as well as big future ones. I was pleased to see that both reports include a reminder that an infrastructure for HPC, data processing, and data management, including “internet based solutions” is also very important.

So read those, and gird your loins for Friday, as we expect the first draft of the report by the Ground Based Facilities Review. But we can afford anything new ?

Yesterday I heard from my University admin that a letter had been sent by STFC to all VCs/Principals explaining that as a necessary caution all new grants would be announced with a closing date of October 2010. Gulp. Rumour has it that the new STFC chair, Michael Sterling has decided that the doors are locked until this mess is sorted out. STFC are already on the case. Committee attendees no longer get biscuits.

OK. Ready ? Panic …. now.