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Centre of the Universe Should Remain Open

The decision by the Federal Government to close the Centre of the Universe, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory interpretive center, at the end of August, should be reversed.  The facility provides important education and public outreach, especially for schools and youth summer camps. We also note the  loss of five research scientist positions at the site involved with the National Research Council Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.

member_891_1“This is a hard loss for Greater Victoria, the province and all of Canada. There are few facilities that combine public education with active research, making science accessible and interesting, and providing a valuable resource to schools and teachers.” says Andrew Weaver.

The cost to maintain the public outreach and education program is estimated at $230 000 annually, compared to the National Research Council operating budget of $900 million.

“This is indicative of the Federal Government putting science funding way down the priority list when all of Canada needs both research, and public science education, to support evidence based policy. The NRC has been refocused to support industry, sidelining pure research and muzzling scientists from speaking. It is a continuation of the Federal government’s agenda against science education and outreach, a slow death of some of our most vital institutions.” says Weaver.

Andrew Weaver is calling on the BC Government, NDP, regional mayors and councilors to call for a reversal of the Centre of the Universe closure decision,  and to address their concerns directly to Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for science and technology.

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