STFC Programmatic Review

Following hard on the heels of  its decision to close the UK Infra-red Telescope and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Hawaii, the Science and Technology Fatalities Council today announced the next stage of its Programmatic Review.

STFC graciously invites your contribution to this exercise, which is to be conducted by a Mr Reaper from Swindon…

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4 Responses to “STFC Programmatic Review”

  1. Peter,

    I assume this is all tongue in cheek and that’s fine – but just to be clear to anyone unaware of the context, the last time STFC did an exercise like this, we were grappling with budget problems, and the review led to pretty painful cuts in the programme. This review is very different – we are now assuming flat budgets (not great but a lot better than cuts) and the review is about refreshing and updating our programme to match evolving science priorities. If we want to do new things like E-ELT (as we do), then some of the older things have to be wound down – but this is not driven by a need to make cuts or save money overall.

    John

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Been watching too many Bergman films?

    • I remember reading a description of how the final “Dance of Death” scene in The Seventh Seal came about. The film was literally in the can; most of the actors had gone home. Bergman woke up and saw a wonderful sky which he thought would make a great backdrop. Some of the technical crew got into the actors’ costumes and the scene was shot on the spur of the moment, in one take, with no rehearsal, with people who weren’t even actors. It has become one of the iconic scenes in all of film. I think this was what Pasteur was referring to when he said that luck favours the well prepared.

      (Another director I admire, also known for his images (among other things) is Kubrick. However, their working styles couldn’t have been more different. Bergman usually discussed the shot with his cameraman just before shooting it and did one or two takes; Kubrick rehearsed some scenes hundreds of times. Despite (or perhaps because of) working so intensely with them, Kubrick often never spoke to the actors after the film was finished, whereas Bergman was friends with his regulars (who appeared in many films), was romantically involved with almost all of his actresses and kept up friendships with the people he worked with for decades. After starting out as a photographer, Kubrick worked mostly on films. Although best known outside of Sweden for his film work, Bergman actually spent more time working for television and the theatre in Sweden (often at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, where he was also the boss for several years).

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