The Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (Astro2020) got underway in early 2019 with the submission of community white papers. There were two deadlines: one in March for science white papers, and one in July for Activities, Projects, or State of the Profession Consideration (APC) white papers. We submitted a white paper in response to the APC call, arguing for the continued need and relevance of 4-meter class telescopes. Ours is one of ~ 330 APC white papers (+ more than 600 science white papers!).
There were 4 other white papers that were closely related to ours, which are summarized as follows:
- Stephen Ridgway (NOAO): Ground Based Optical Astronomy — Keeping the Innovation Window Open (advocates for open access to private facilities)
- Sally Oey (University of Michigan): 2020 Vision: Towards a Sustainable OIR System (advocates for continued access to and investment in modest aperture telescopes)
- Joan Najita (NOAO): Investing for Discovery in Astronomy (there are diverse paths to discovery, small teams disrupt/large teams develop, results from NOAO community survey in May 2019: Respondents were asked to indicate the importance of each resource in a funding-limited environment. The highest priority is (1) observing time, followed by (2) archival data products, (3) new instrumentation, (4) software and data pipelines, (5) student or mentor training, and (6) new telescopes.)
- Lori Allen (NOAO): The NOAO Mid-Scale Observatories (current state of affairs at KPNO and assets in Chile, possible upgrades to modest telescopes, AEON promotion
The ARC-led white paper is attached here.