Professor Roger Davis has taken on the role of President of the Royal Astronomical Society at what he warns is a critical time for the discipline, as further cuts to astrophysics could result in Britain losing a generation of talented young scientists.
Roger Davies is Philip Wetton Professor of Astrophysics, Chairman of the Physics Department and Dr. Lees Reader in Physics at Christ Church.
"The Science and Technology Facilities Council will fund half the number of postdoctoral research Fellows in 2012 that it funded in 2007, and that's before we enter into austerity measures," he said. Professor Davies said that astrophysics was an "extraordinarily important element of the UK's science portfolio" and warned that further cuts "could put in serious jeopardy this jewel in the crown of UK science".
His key goal as president is to "succeed in making the case that astrophysics is an area that the Government should invest in and to expand the already excellent outreach efforts of the society". Professor Davies said his keen advocacy of outreach work stemmed from his own experiences as a teenager in Scunthorpe, when his interest in astrophysics was sparked by a series of night classes organised by the Workers' Educational Association. Before coming to Oxford, Professor Davies worked for the University of Cambridge, where he completed his doctorate, Durham University and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona.
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