University Statements


Arecibo Observatory

May 20, 2011

Bob Buhrman, Cornell senior vice-provost for research, has issued the following statement on the NSF awarding SRI International the management of Arecibo Observatory:

Cornell University congratulates SRI International for being selected by the National Science Foundation to manage the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico for the next five years. Over fifty years ago Cornell Professor William Gordon conceived and oversaw the construction of what remains the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. For nearly five decades, Cornell, through a series of major telescope upgrades and instrumentation initiatives, has kept the telescope as a forefront instrument for research in astronomy and atmospheric sciences. This has enabled the very many ground breaking results obtained by the observatory's scientific user community, such as the confirmation of Einstein's prediction of the existence of gravitational radiation, which resulted in the Nobel prize for Joseph Taylor and Russell Hulse, and the first detection of planets about another star. The tremendous scientific productivity of the observatory over its entire history is a source of great pride for Cornell, as are the observatory's outstanding educational and public outreach programs.

We express our profound appreciation to Cornell's dedicated staff at the Arecibo Observatory and on the Cornell campus for their excellent, highly professional contributions to the advancement of science over this past half-century. Cornell also expresses our deep gratitude to the people and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for hosting and actively supporting this outstanding and unique science installation.

We wish SRI and their partner institutions the very best in their future stewardship of the Observatory.