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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Salvation in Sight for Australian Synchrotron
23 February 2012 11:08 am
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—After months of uncertainty, a deal is taking shape to save the Australian synchrotron from going under.
The synchrotron here is one of just two in the Southern Hemisphere and has given Australian scientists access to powerful beams of light to probe new materials, proteins, and other substances. Last May, the synchrotron’s major backers—the federal government and the government of Victoria State, which hosts the facility—omitted funds for the synchrotron in their budgets beyond 30 June 2012.
An announcement about the facility’s fate will be made "in the near future," says a spokesperson for federal science minister Chris Evans. But ScienceInsider has learned that under a new agreement about to be inked, federal support for the synchrotron will be extended through the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiative, which awards large grants to university consortia. Monash University will lead the bid for the funds, says Ian Smith, the university’s pro vice-chancellor for research and research infrastructure. Smith says that the synchrotron will need at least AUS $100 million to operate over the next 4 years. The Special Research Initiative would provide about a quarter of the funds; universities would match that amount, and the remainder would come from the Victorian government, the New Zealand government, and three Australian government agencies.
The synchrotron is not quite out of danger. Australia’s corporate regulator, ASIC, could shut down its operations if guaranteed funding is not confirmed soon, says synchrotron Director Keith Nugent. “I’m not worried,” he says, “but I’ll be happier when the funding announcement is made.”