From SKA: “Statement from the Board of Directors of SKA Organisation on the outcome of the UK’s EU referendum”

SKA Square Kilometer Array

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The Board of Directors of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently met at the SKA Headquarters at Jodrell Bank near Manchester in the UK for its 21st Board Meeting. This is the first time the Board has met since the result of the UK’s EU referendum held a few weeks ago and the consequent decision to leave the EU.

Dr Adam Baker from the Science and Research Directorate of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reaffirmed the strong commitment of the country to the SKA project stating that “with respect to the Square Kilometre Array itself, the UK’s position has not changed. We are still deeply committed to the SKA and its success. The Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson re-iterated the UK’s support for world class research and innovation at a speech to the Wellcome Trust on 30th June. This included specific reference to the SKA.”

All SKA members’ representatives in the Board took note of the positive statement from the UK, keeping the project on the right track ahead of the construction in 2018 in particular the pursuing of international negotiations to establish the SKA as an Inter-Governmental Organisation or IGO –similar to CERN or ITER.

All members of the Board, the Director-General of SKA Organisation and the Chair of the Board also took this opportunity to express their pride in the international nature of the SKA project and emphasised the essential contribution of the highly qualified personnel from over 14 different nationalities working at the SKA Headquarters in the UK as well as around the world to deliver the project.

“The recruitment of talent from around the world is what makes a project such as SKA possible and all members of the Board remain fully committed to ensuring the SKA project can attract and recruit the best and most qualified staff regardless of their origin,” concluded Giovanni Bignami, Chair of the SKA Board.

See the full article here .

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About SKA

The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approximately one square kilometre giving 50 times the sensitivity, and 10 000 times the survey speed, of the best current-day telescopes. The SKA will be built in Southern Africa and in Australia. Thousands of receptors will extend to distances of 3 000 km from the central regions. The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. Construction of phase one of the SKA is scheduled to start in 2016. The SKA Organisation, with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK, was established in December 2011 as a not-for-profit company in order to formalise relationships between the international partners and centralise the leadership of the project.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organisation. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

Already supported by 10 member countries – Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom – SKA Organisation has brought together some of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers and more than 100 companies and research institutions across 20 countries in the design and development of the telescope. Construction of the SKA is set to start in 2018, with early science observations in 2020.