Near-Universe Advisory Panel (NUAP) consultation process

Message from Prof Michele K Dougherty, NUAP Chair

This is an introduction to the consultation process to update STFC’s strategy in the areas covered by the remit of the Near Universe Advisory Panel (NUAP).

NUAP’s remit covers those parts of the astronomy and space science programmes concerned with the Sun, the solar system and the properties of objects in our galaxy. The aim of NUAP is to draft and maintain a roadmap which describes current and future research opportunities, for presentation to and approval by PPAN.

The initial step in this process is to consult widely and carefully with the community as well as to ensure that a transparent and representative process is adopted. Towards this end, all the minutes of the NUAP meetings will be made available.

In addition 6 draft documents are available for download, which aim to provide a first attempt at summarising the various NUAP areas as regards science priorities, technology requirements and opinions on approaches to the inevitable prioritisation process which we need to undergo. The areas covered incorporate:

The information contained within these documents has been collated from an initial consultation with a cross-section of renowned experts in the various fields. Their excellent input has been distilled and reduced for the purposes of the various drafts. Comments are also welcomed on cross-cutting science themes.

It is imperative that the community appreciates that the documents simply serve as a starting point to which reactions from the community are REQUIRED, and that the purpose of the next stage of the NUAP process, which is full consultation with the community, relies on community input in order to derive a complete strategy which MUST be prioritised.

If we as a community do not prioritise, then PPAN and STFC will do it for us. Eventually the final strategy will emerge through a prioritisation across the entire panel remit.

There is some cross-over between the various areas and documents and that is not unexpected – such cross-over topics will be highlighted in the final documentation. There are parallel consultations taking place from FUAP (the Far Universe Advisory Panel) and the Ground Based Astronomy Facilities Review Panel and there is sure to be some overlap between all three panels - and as a result they will remain in close touch during the consultation process. There is diversity of style between the documents, and that will be harmonised as NUAP puts a single strategy document together. Some research areas within NUAP may have been over-looked in the attempt to start the consultation process off and if that is the case then NUAP can be informed via the web-based interface described below.

Responses should be submitted within 3 weeks, by Friday 5th June 2009, in order to give NUAP time to put together a first draft at a strategy document in time for the 9th July community meeting in London at which time there will be a further opportunity to comment and feed ideas into the process.

Please complete the web-based questionnaire for this consultation process. Responses are invited on behalf of both individuals and groups.

Page last updated: 22 May 2009 by Rosemary Young