When I was at high school I used to make regular trips into Wellington’s Carter Observatory to attend astronomical society meetings, so I was sad to see this article today noting the loss of jobs and national status there. Many good memories of heading up the cable car to the observatory and planetarium at the top of the Wellington Botanical Gardens. Places like that fired my imagination to engage with science by firstly wanting to become a scientist, and then more recently to look at science’s relationship with other things like religion. It appears, like many of these things, that the money could only stretch so far – concentrate on education and the research drops, on the research only and it becomes disconnected from the public (and stimulating young scientists). So much, perhaps, for funding a broad ‘knowledge economy’.
Hopefully, once the dust settles, there’s something to continue in some positive form.
- Carter Observatory, Carter Observatory Distance Education, Carter Observatory (academic), and Carter Observatory – Wikipedia
- Auckland Stardome
- Mt John – Physics and Astronomy – University of Canterbury – New Zealand, Mt John observatory in Lake Tekapo – Tekapo Tourism, and Mt John observatory with Earth and Sky – Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.