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€14mil Up Front & €2mil P.A to join European Southern Observatory - Should we?

cozzy121

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Spotted this on RTE

Ireland to hold talks on joining space observatory - RTÉ News

The Director General of Europe's largest international astronomy organisation will meet Government ministers and officials in Dublin today, to discuss the possibility of Ireland joining the body.

Central to the discussions will be the estimated €14m in entrance fees that Ireland would have to pay to become a member of the European Southern Observatory.

The ESO is the foremost international astronomy collaboration in Europe.

Together its 16 member states operate large cutting edge telescopes in Chile involved in some of the most important astronomical discoveries of recent decades.
See also

In focus: Observatory shooting for the stars - RTÉ News



I want to discount any argument that the money might be better spent on homelessness or the poor or the sick. That is, in my belief, a straw man argument.

This is a question of where we invest €14mil in 1 aspect of science or might it be better invested in other scientific endeavors.
 


former wesleyan

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Well we missed out on CERN for no discernible reason. Good luck to those Irish people who will benefit from this.
 

cozzy121

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Well we missed out on CERN for no discernible reason. Good luck to those Irish people who will benefit from this.
The problem is, we haven't joined yet and knowing this government - a quick decision will not be forthcoming.
 

He3

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Prefer to see it spend on boosting the neurology capacity at Beaumont myself.
 

Erudite Caveman

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Go for it. People are going to need to get off this rock someday, and the more we know by then, the better.
 

wombat

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This is a question of where we invest €14mil in 1 aspect of science or might it be better invested in other scientific endeavors.
I think that is the key point, there will always be competing demands for funds, this wouldn't be one of my priorities.
 

carlovian

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Dont we have a 13 billion credit at the moment ?

Its boom-time baby.

Anyone for a national stadium ?
 

Orbit v2

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We seem to be the only Western European country (bar Luxembourg) not in it. I think we should join.
 

gleeful

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ESO will be at the forefront of finding life in the universe. Their new telescope is powerful enough to examine the chemical composition of the atmospheres of planets around other stars. Irish universities get to part of that if we pay €2m/year
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Relax. We already have Ned O'Keeffe up on the haggard most nights near Rathcormac with the binoculars he got that time for Cheltenham.

He's dual purpose in keeping an eye both on the Irish Defence Forces and the Milky Way.
 

Polly Ticks

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We should join.. for the educational and knowledge transfer value alone it would be worth it.. and what about the business side? We can build expertise.. create more space-focused companies..

then there's the no-small matter of Ireland's historical contributions to astronomy and that it would be good for us to return to the mix and make a contribution again..
 

Cellachán Chaisil

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We talk about bringing r&d into Ireland so much, why would we turn up our noses at the opportunity to boost our research potential?

We had DIAS when we hadn't a pot to piss in.
 

Polly Ticks

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https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Research-Innovation/Companies/Access-EU-Research-Innovation-reports/ESA-Space-Endeavours.pdf

THE IMPACT OF IRISH RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN SPACE TECHNOLOGIES
Indeed, since 2000, over 80 Irish companies have secured ESA contracts exceeding c80M in value.

Irish companies have shown themselves to be worthy of working on the cutting edge
of one of the most technologically advanced industries. Working to the demanding physical challenges required for space places Irish companies in the premier league in terms of
reliability and performance engineering.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Perhaps an odd question. Why would the state have to pay this if the access is for Irish universities?

Shouldn't the cost be borne by the universities? It would be nice to think Ireland could participate in these things but national vanity is not a good enough reason when that 2 million a year could be helping to keep a hospital ward open.

Vanity and austerity are uneasy bedfellows.
 

gleeful

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Perhaps an odd question. Why would the state have to pay this if the access is for Irish universities?

Shouldn't the cost be borne by the universities? It would be nice to think Ireland could participate in these things but national vanity is not a good enough reason when that 2 million a year could be helping to keep a hospital ward open.

Vanity and austerity are uneasy bedfellows.
Remind me where Irish universities get their cash?
 

Polly Ticks

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We talk about bringing r&d into Ireland so much, why would we turn up our noses at the opportunity to boost our research potential?

We had DIAS when we hadn't a pot to piss in.
Exactamente.

We are never going to be able to compete with the large-scale manufacturing nations... what we need to do is find high-tech niches where we can excel.. participation in projects such as the ESO gives us that opportunity.

So, IMO, it's not a case of "ooh that's something fancy and nice that we don't really need but let's do it to show off in our own little way" and more a case of a practical step that can ensure the survival of Irish science and engineering into the future.
 

Polly Ticks

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Well, for those concerned about budgets, we could take the money previously due to be given to the Olympic Council of Ireland for the next 5 years.. while they toddle off and get their house in order (at which point the government can then re-consider contributing to the OCI).
 

yosef shompeter

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Well I know why this topic is coming up.
It's to quieten down the furore over the Apple thingie.
I'm not saying who is right or wrong in the Apple case -- tax law is by its nature can be obscenely unfair when viewed by some. Flashback to the example of Denis O'Brien getting his kitchen converted and so absent from the jurisdiction in Portugal and so legally able to reduce or avoid his capital gains tax for that year.

So if we join all the local clubs like Cern and ESO and be active participating members, we won't appear to be such pariahs.
What's our national debt again, have we paid of them bankers? Today's IT had an article from the FAC fiscal advisory council saying that our debt should be up around 100% of GDP... forget that 26% growth rate announced earlier.
 

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