In a short-sighted move by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the iconic British radio telescope faces closure.
Read about it here.
Eight million pounds has already been spent on linking up seven radio telescopes to form the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN). Jodrell Bank was to be the hub of this powerful network and its staff have been concentrating their efforts on that.
This network would cost £2.5million p.a. to run and as part of the effort to balance its books, the STFC has decided not to fund these running costs. As a result, Jodrell Bank – perhaps the most famous radio telescope in the world – faces the end of its life as a working observatory.
You might find it hard to believe that the world’s fourth largest economy cannot find the money but there are lots of demands on the public purse. Two and a half million pounds can pay for:-
One eighth of the cost of building a Creationist Vardy Academy
one year’s grants and subsidies to Karl Battenburg
one year’s expenses claimed by Cabinet Ministers
illegally occupying Iraq for one day.