Skeptics Challenge Clinton's Push to Fund C.U.'s Arecibo

As the Cornell-operated Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico struggles to find financial support after the National Science Foundation slashed its funding, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) is proposing, in legislation she introduced two weeks ago, that the NSF completely restore the research facility’s grants. But with just a month until the Puerto Rican primary, some Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) supporters are calling the move political posturing.
On April 15, Clinton introduced a bill in the Senate — S.2862 — that directs the NSF to “ensure that the Arecibo Observatory is fully funded.” The bill cites the scientific and research value of the observatory and also calls for the observatory’s collaboration with NASA for the research of near-Earth objects.

Puerto Rican Government Grants Funds to Arecibo

The Cornell-managed Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has been under cost-cutting pressure due to budget cuts by the National Science Foundation. However, the observatory received a break with a new partnership agreement signed last week to bring in $2.3 million annually to Arecibo.
The National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center and the Puerto Rico Department of Education will run the program together, though the Department of Education will contribute the funds.
The money will go to fund a program called “Inspiration to Science,” which aims to educate kindergarten through 12th grade Puerto Rican school children.

Profs to Defend Arecibo Funding in D.C.

On September 12 and 13, dozens of astronomers plan to meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of the Cornell-owned and operated Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the largest radio telescope in the world.