4GLS leapfrog

November 16, 2007

Your report on the decision not to proceed with the fourth-generation light source (4GLS) rightly draws attention to the disappointment felt by scientists at the Daresbury laboratory and in the Northwest in general ("Light source plan dims as plan is axed", November 9). But it fails to mention a very positive development.

As a result of the review of the 4GLS proposal, the Science and Technology Facility Council has committed itself to developing a proposal for a fourth-generation light source on a very short timescale. This is the first time the UK community has had such a commitment, and it will be welcomed by the many scientists who worked on the 4GLS proposal and who will work on the case for its successor.

In the past, the UK has often had to play catch-up with the rest of the world in the provision of central facilities. This commitment by the STFC gives us the opportunity to play leapfrog.

Peter Weightman , Chairman, Liverpool University, 4GLS steering committee.

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