Press Release

IOP Comments on STFC Announcement on Island Sites

By SpaceRef Editor
May 31, 2012
Filed under , ,

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has today announced planned dates for the closure of their island site telescopes, the James Clerk Maxwell and UK Infra-Red Telescopes in Hawaii, and the Isaac Newton Group (ING) of telescopes in the Canaries.

Professor Stuart Palmer, the Institute of Physics’ (IOP’s) interim Chief Executive, commented: “It is sad to see plans for the end of life of facilities which have given such good service to the astronomy community and made possible major advances in our understanding of the universe we live in. They still offer unique capabilities, and we hope that ways will be found to make them available for UK astronomers to use as long as they are of value.

“However, we recognize that STFC has to balance many different demands within a funding envelope which is inevitably tightly constrained, especially in the present financial climate. Exciting new opportunities are opening up for astronomy internationally, with the development of the Square Kilometer Array and the European Extra Large Telescope. We hope that UK astronomers will be able to play a full part in these new programs.

“We also recognize that STFC has worked hard to consult the astronomy community in the lead-up to these decisions, and communicated proactively with those involved.”

Mike Bishop
IOP Press Officer
+44 (0)117 930 1032

The Institute of Physics ( is a leading scientific society promoting physics and bringing physicists together for the benefit of all. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000 comprising physicists from all sectors, as well as those with an interest in physics. It works to advance physics research, application and education; and engages with policymakers and the public to develop awareness and understanding of physics. Its publishing company, IOP Publishing, is a world leader in professional scientific publishing and the electronic dissemination of physics.

SpaceRef staff editor.