Hawaii Island Conversations: TMT

Join us for a panel discussion on one of the hottest issues of our time, the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Tentatively scheduled to appear on the panel are Harry Fergerstrom, E. Kalani Flores, and Kealoha Pisciotta, along with Douglas Ing, Paul Coleman, and Richard Ha.
You can find all of that and more on, Hawaiʻi Island Conversations, broadcasting LIVE, TOMORROW, June 15, at 6:00 p.m.

One Comment on “Hawaii Island Conversations: TMT”

  1. I would like to comment on the idea of ‘profit’ from the Mauna Kea observatories. I am part of the academic community of astronomy (B.S. and M.S. in astrophysics) and I worked as a telescope operator at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I know there is delicate history on the lease of KPNO as well, and I do not disregard that. But on the idea of profit, I have been part of nearly every aspect of getting time and using data gathered by public observatories like Keck. No one is ‘selling’ or ‘buying’ time or ‘selling’ data. Time is awarded, and the funds come from international consortia to pay the salary of those doing the research and the salaries of the telescope operators on the mountain. The data are not sold – there is no such thing as selling data. The astronomy community *is* highly competitive, but being the first to publish data does not come with any sort of monetary bonus. I believe there is a major misconception on the whole process of following money that is invested in these telescopes. If anything, the university of Hawaii stands to gain any profit at all, since students are enticed to come to Hawaii to have access to these world class telescopes, and they pay tuition, and that tuition goes into the pockets of the University and not the general public or astronomy community.

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