Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Final Hubble Fun and TIP RIP

So, Hubble Cycle 14 TAC results are out; not bad, got 2 (smallish) proposals, out of three submitted.
Sadly my "brilliant" theory proposal was downgraded - not enough detailed examples of the proposed models, Hello! Its a friggin' three page proposal folks! Get a grip!. Phew, that feels better.
The empirical scatter in TAC rankings from year to year continues to be at ~ 50%. ie if your proposal is not either clearly flat out wrong, or absolutely brilliant (a "damn, I wish I had thought of that", as opposed to, "yeah, should be done, sometime, obviously, by someone, but not in preference to My Proposal" which is the fate of most proposals), then the TAC ranking is essentially random (and the STSCI essentially admitted as much last year). Cold comfort.
This may well be the last GO cycle for Hubble, hope we can squeeze everything out of it.

On a different note, one of the best least well known science journals was the Industrial Physicist, the house journal of the forum on Industrial Physics of the APS. They were concise, generally good (at the Physics Today level) and informative on technological physics developments (devices etc). They also, for example, had one of the best articles I've seen on the failure of the US electrical grid the other summer, and what the long term issues are and possible fixes.
So, of course it is being shut down. Not enough readers and advertisers and too expensive. Bummer. Ah well, it will reduce my reading list backlog. At least the Forum on Physics and Society newsletter is still chugging along.


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