We wanted consultation....
Today is the deadline for contributions to the Ground Based Facilities Review. This is an important means by which us ordinary working astronomers in the community can tell the powers that be, via the GBFR committee, which facilities are the most important to the science that we currently do, and the science we are hoping to do over the next decade. This helps them set the priorities with the budget that they have. Yes, we'd all like to have everything funded, but there just isn't enough cash to go around and, sadly, this is a situation that isn't likely to change any time soon.
Now, admittedly, it's not the best survey I've ever seen, but at least it's a consultation. After the debacle of 2008 it's nice to see a bit of change along these lines, so it's very worrying to me that out of the entire population of UK-based astronomers, they have still only received 337 responses as of yesterday (see Monica Grady's comment on Andy Lawrence's blog). One of those responses is mine - and I'm not even in the UK. Given how many UK-based astronomers there are (a large number of whom regularly turn up to National Astronomy Meetings), I'm absolutely amazed at the lacklustre response to this. Flabergasted is probably a better word.
We were the ones up in arms over decisions taken without consultation (Gemini, anyone?), so now's your chance. Go read the documents and fill in the form. It's a few hours out of your research time, but if you want access to your favourite facility to continue being funded then you'd be daft not to.
And if you've decided not to contribute, I'd be genuinely curious why not.