2007 October 15
Last Thursday was the long-awaited and much-worried-about dedication ceremony for the ATA. It was basically a purely PR event, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t meaningful. The array’s operations were no different the day after the ceremony than they were the day before it, but to my mind there were two important functions served by the dedication. First of all, the PR payoff — both to the donors and the broader public — is not something to be taken lightly. As a scientist one would rather not have to worry about raising funds to complete one’s projects, but it’s a fact of life that that’s necessary. Secondly, it was good to get all of the ATA contributors together to meet each other and mark what’s been accomplished to this point. There’s still a whole lot to do, but there’s a lot to be proud of. Of course, I was thinking about this, and I decided that of all of the ATA contributors present at the ceremony, I was probably the single person who has done the least to help the project. This isn’t something that I’m embarassed about — I certainly could have contributed more by this point, but there’s no shame in not having put in as much work as the engineers and scientists who’ve been working on things full-time for several years now. But it does put things in perspective.
Today was star formation homework. Could have figured out a couple of integrals faster, but that doesn’t bother me too much either.