Young scientists look to the future
For the first time young scientists have met to discuss the current and future state of solar system science within the UK. Almost 50 people from the magnetosphere-ionosphere solar-terrestrial (MIST) and solar physics community met in London on the 3rd May to discuss their response to the dramatic upheavals in the UK’s funding landscape. The unprecedented meeting had only been called a week earlier, and the large number of young researchers attending at such short notice demonstrates the deep concern and disquiet amongst the next generation of Britain’s scientists.
Recognising that solar system science is a multi-disciplinary field, those present felt that in the future a more holistic approach was needed when comprehending the coupled Sun-Planets system. There was general consensus that large science questions within the field e.g. the effect of the Sun on the Earth’s ionosphere/atmosphere and on the magnetosphere of other planets, would best be addressed by a joint forum of MIST, solar-physicists and planetary scientists. Furthermore, it was felt that joint meetings between the MIST, UK-Solar Physics and UK-Planetary communities were desirable, whether at the National Astronomy Meeting or elsewhere. To help bring about this realignment, and to further encourage multi-disciplinary co-operation, those present decided to form a Solar System Science (S3) ‘umbrella’ community which represents all three communities. In the first instance S3 would mainly consist of younger scientists, but it is anticipated that like-minded colleagues will add their support to build a framework that unites the existing organisations representing solar-terrestrial, planetary, and solar physics. It is envisaged that this community will be an arena for inter-disciplinary research and co-operation, allowing research to be publicised to a wider audience.
For more information on S3 and to join the mailing list, please go to http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/S-CUBED.