Careers and perspectives in Big Data Astronomy

ESA
Credit
ESA
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The field of Astronomy has undergone extensive changes over the last few decades, not only in the way we view the Universe but also crucially in the way that research is conducted. It has moved from the classical solitary researcher to large consortia of researchers joining forces for preparing, operating and processing the data from large surveys and novel instruments.

Consequently, a new type of career in Astronomy has emerged: the technical research scientist (TRS). The day-to-day work and careers for these scientists are fundamentally different from the usual Astronomy research career path and are typically focussed on the long-term development of large projects rather than personal research. These scientists guarantee and enable the success of milestone projects like Gaia, WEAVE, Euclid and SKA but are typically excluded from the academic career options that are traditionally available to Astronomers.

This RAS specialist discussion will highlight the career paths and projects of TRSs by focussing on two aspects: 1) the status quo of careers for technical research scientists, review recent and ongoing policy changes and provide an outlook for a future roadmap; and 2) feature spotlight talks highlighting current UK projects like Gaia, SKA or WEAVE, as well as the funding structure (aka business model) for the various groups.

Organisers:

Dr Clare Worley,

Dr Catrina Diener

(Both from Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)

 

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