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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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No Reprieve for Greenwich Observatory
12 December 1997 8:00 pm
BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM--A last ditch plan to save the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) has failed. Citing high risk and costs, the institution's funder, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of the United Kingdom, today rejected a business plan proposed by RGO staff. "We are very disappointed indeed," says RGO director Jasper Wall.
Earlier this year, PPARC announced it would transfer RGO's duties, which are mainly in telescope design, to the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE). The move was expected to save £2.4 million (U.S. $4.1 million) annually for the first 4 years and £4 million (U.S. $6.8 million) annually thereafter. But RGO staff, outraged at the loss of their historic institution, set about preparing a rescue package that would involve setting up a company to provide astronomical services not being transferred to Edinburgh, such as data archiving; PPARC would continue to pay for these services, providing a half of the company's support. One-third more of the budget would have come from establishing a telescope-building business with John Moores University in Liverpool; and the remainder would have come from doing PPARC-supported astronomical research.
PPARC set up two committees last October to consider the proposal. They expressed concern about the plan's long term viability and the element of competition it would pose to the Edinburgh observatory. They also deemed the £1.3 million (U.S. $2.2 million) direct costs to PPARC unacceptable.