More public astronomy successes and stuff

A report has been published on the events that took place in Nepal as part of Global Astronomy Month, the successor to the International Year of Astronomy, 2009, and the progenitor of an annual event. Activities included star parties, seminars and solar observing events.

The teams behind the Planck and Herschel space observatories have been given the Grand Prix 2010 award for “outstanding space endeavours” by the French Association for Aeronautics and Astronautics. Full details here.

While this might suggest Galileo is right to still be giving the finger to the detractors of his field from the digit’s new position (along with a friend, a thumb and a tooth, a lens the fingers once worked with and two contemporary telescopes they helped to fashion) in the Galileo University, things aren’t all going smoothly. As Professor Richard Jones puts out a call for politicians to be aware of the legacy effects of cutting research and the need for stability (couched, the Times suggests, in the words of the Science Minister), Willetts himself has been raising the spectre of rising tuition fees (as reported in the Guardian and the BBC) as the debate on how to reduce the structural deficit in the Universities budget begins. The Universities presently spend £700 million more than they can expect to be allocated. Other options include fielding some courses to colleges, reducing the numbers of students and merging smaller universities under the wing of more prestigious ones.

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