UK Solar Community Meeting – 21 May 2020 University of Birmingham

February 26, 2020, from Sarah Matthews

This meeting aims to bring the community together to draw out clear actions that can be taken to bolster our field and ensure that the processes within STFC and UKSA are suited to our needs. The meeting will also be a platform for the community to provide input into the update of the SSAP Roadmap (to be completed before Oct 2020). Thus, we will address questions such as:

• What is the state of solar physics in the UK? Can we identify issues that are impacting our field? Would it be beneficial to have some kind of audit of our community to assess how we are doing nationally and on the international scene?

• What are our future mission/project strategic objectives, and how can we achieve them? What comes after Solar Orbiter and DKIST? Are we compromised by the lack of funding for bilateral missions? Do we feel that the current mission/project selection processes are appropriate?

• What is the role of SSAP in terms of supporting the above? Can we identify clear priorities and strategies? UKSA funds space hardware; do we feel that the interaction with STFC/SSAP is sufficient/appropriate? Does the STFC/UKSA ‘dual key’ funding work for us?

• Are we exploiting our existing projects fully, including those in operational phases and those entering operational phases? Is access to operations and data sufficient for the community?

• Are the UK’s high performance computing resources sufficient for our needs? What needs to be done to ensure that we have the computer resources that we need?

• Are the UK solar community publications, citations and PhD completion rates healthy? If not, what pressures are impacting these – e.g. loss of ERC funding, lack of AGP funding for specific topical areas? What pressures impact our ability to perform research most effectively?

• Can we identify ‘alternative’ routes of funding – getting away from the traditional routes – to support the community? Can we exploit the space weather ‘ticket’ more in obtaining funding?

The meeting will take place on 21 May at the University of Birmingham’s main Edgbaston Campus, in Lecture Theatre S02 on the top floor of the Poynting Building (R13):

We look forward to a lively debate followed by key recommendations and a clear strategy for the future. Everyone is welcome.

Sarah Matthews (UKSP Chair – MSSL)
Ineke De Moortel (SSAP Chair – St Andrews)
Richard Harrison (Solar Missions Forum – Co-chair)
David Long (Solar Missions Forum – Co-chair)
Bill Chaplin (Science Board – Birmingham)