Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy, Volume 3

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Andre Heck
Springer Science & Business Media, 2000 - Science - 238 pages
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We have arrived at the third volume of this useful series on Organiza tions and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). It contains seventeen articles on a wide range of topics, from virtual observatories, astronomy organizations in various communities (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, South Africa), and the role of ground stations in space observatories, to quality assurance in UK higher education. In this foreword, I shall give some views on ideas expressed in this volume, in particular from my personal experience when I was project officer for the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Let me first remind readers that present and future astronomy is in creasingly dependent on high-level management. Not everybody knows that the scheduling of the Hubble Space Telescope is performed by a neural network software called SPIKE, described in the stimulating workshop New Observing Modes for the Next Centuryl, partly reported in OSA Volume II by 1. Robson. New observing facilities, in space or on the ground, are so complex that they need highly qualified engineers and rigorous management procedures. Each observing hour on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) fa cility is worth about EUR 7,000, including the amortization of the capital expenses over 30 years. This does not leave much room for amateurism, neither in the time allocation procedures, nor in the daily telescope control.
 

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Contents

Close Encounters of the Third Kind with the Hubble Space Telescope
11
Public Relations for a National Observatory
21
Four Decades as a Galley Slave
35
The International Max Planck Research School IMPRS for Astrophysics at GarchingMunich
47
Quality Assirance in UK Higher Education
63
NSF Evaluation Processes in the Astronomical Sciences
71
Scientific Impact of Large Telescopes
85
The Role of Ground Stations in Space Observatories
95
Organizational Issues in Large Scientific Projects
121
The History of the Joint Organization for Solar Observations JOSO 19692000
135
Optical Astronomy and South Africa Part I to 1994
153
Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Czech Republic
163
Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Slovak Republic
181
Same Pursuits?
191
History is Too Important to be Left to the Historians
201
Updated Bibliography of SocioAstronomy
217

Some Thoughts about the Virtual Observatory Concept
107

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About the author (2000)

Heck began developing and teaching Maple courses at the University of Nijmegen in 1987. She is actively involved in the research and development aimed at the integrated computer learning environment Coach for mathematics and science education at the secondary school level.