On page 6 of Monday’s Age are wonderful pictures of distant galaxies to illustrate a story about Dr. Caroline Foster’s new astronomical discoveries. The science involved is breathtaking. Our radioastronomers, for example, can get pictures from halfway across the universe -- provided that nobody’s using a competing radio frequency within interference range.
On page 8 we hear that the government is proposing to flog off a part of the radio spectrum currently used for radio astronomy so that we can have more mobile phones, and to do that before the International Communications Union, which actually listens to scientists, has made a decision. We’re assured by the Chief Executive of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Union, whose members are going to profit immensely from this decision, that there’s no risk. “An Optus spokesman said it welcomes the ACMA’s proactive approach.” I’m sure it did.
Call me a suspicious old fuddy-duddy, but I’d have rather more confidence if we could hear Dr. Foster’s opinion on this matter. I’d like to think that the universe had at least one vote.