skip to content

Cambridge University Libraries are gradually reopening. Access support and services to help you learn, teach and research.

Cambridge University Library

 

CHAPTER 6   END OF AN ERA—ALEC BOKSENBERG : 1981-1990

This chapter begins with the appointment of Alec Boksenberg as the Director and the changes in divisional structure and in reports and public relations that he introduced. A second round of reviews by SRC led eventually to the decision to move the RGO, but not the telescopes, to Cambridge. The preparatory work for the telescopes on La Palma was well advanced and the Royal Inauguration by King Juan Carlos of Spain took place in June 1985. This chapter is, however, primarily concerned with the activities at Herstmonceux. There were new developments, such as the use of satellite laser ranging, instead of stellar observations to determine the variations in the rotation of the Earth. The RGO retained the responsibility for the care of its archives, which cover 300 years, and so a conservation laboratory and a cataloguing project were started. The facilities in the Castle were improved to expand its use as a conference centre.

The final section is concerned with the immediate effects of the decision to move the RGO to Cambridge. Many secondary decisions had to be made about the continuation or closure of some of the activities. The Castle had to be evacuated before the move to Cambridge started. Many staff were faced with the choice of moving with or without their homes and family to Cambridge or whether to give up their jobs completely.

6.1 A change in administrative style and policy
6.1.1    Changes in the senior administrative staff
6.1.2 Other senior staff and the divisional structure
6.1.3 Publicity and reports
6.1.4 The "brown-envelope exercise"
6.2 A second round of reviews
6.2.1 The Rayner Review 1983
6.2.2 The Willmore Panel 1983/4
6.2.3 The SERC Secretary's Panel 1985
6.2.4 The "Hands-off" and "Save RGO" Campaigns
6.3 Departmental activities 1981 to 1990
6.3.1 La Palma and related activities: Organisation and staffing for La Palma; The telescopes and instruments on La Palma; Engineering and instrument development
6.3.2 Astrophysics and astrometry: Astrophysical research; Astrometry; Developments in computing
6.3.3 H. M. Nautical Almanac Office: NAO publications and data services; Dynamical astronomy (except SLR)
6.3.4 The Time Department and space geodesy: The Greenwich Time Service; Satellite laser ranging; Other satellite tracking activities; Rotation of the Earth - Project MERIT and the IERS; Other national activities
6.3.5 The libraries and archives: Changes in the library services; The conservation laboratory; The archives and the Laurie Project; The use of the archives
6.3.6 Other international activities
6.3.7 Administration
6.4 General activities in 1981 to 1990
6.4.1 Scientific administration and public relations: The Castle as a visitor and conference centre; National Astronomy Week & Comet Halley
6.4.2 Various staff matters
6.4.3 Other events and activities
6.5 The relocation to Cambridge
6.5.1 Administration
6.5.2 Castle
6.5.3 Library and archives
6.5.4 EQ Group
6.5.5 Astrodynamics: H. M. Nautical Almanac Office; Satellite tracking
6.5.6 Other instruments and equipment
6.5.7 University of Sussex
6.5.8 Effects on the staff
6.5.9 New building at Cambridge
6.5.10 Changes and events on my retirement

 

Download: CHAPTER 6 pages 178 -217;  302 Kbytes