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Leaving the Nest

Submitter: Madroon, E.J.
Description: We at ASTRON are very proud of the fact that we are generating a large fraction of the New Generation that will design, build and use the next generation of giant radio telescopes, culminating in the Square Km Array (SKA). They are fannying out over the world, like those from the Jodrell Bank of yore. Once they are ready to leave the nest, they are eagerly snapped up by other institutes, who consider themselves extremely fortunate. The above sample of local euphoria is fairly typical.

Of course we are sad to see them go, especially those that were also leaders in the intense social life of the sister institutes ASTRON and JIVE. But, like parents through the ages, we grimly tell ourselves that it is a win-win situation. For instance, once in their new role, they tend to grow up rapidly, and develop a rather milder view of what their earlier managers, minders and mentors were trying to achieve, and how.

So, even if we leave the rhetoric to others, we expect to follow their further orbit with quiet satisfaction. In the meantime, we will have one more soccer match (Dutch style) for and with Oleg today, at the Hotel De Borken in Lhee, coincidentally the same place where the SKA process really began in 1991. It will be followed by a braai, and some rumination over whiskey and cigars.

PS: It was a Big Success.
Copyright: ASTRON
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