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The future of the James Webb Space Telescope

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By Tushna Commissariat

With scientists and politicians debating over the fate of the James Webb Space telescope, this week we are asking your thoughts on the subject. Following over-run costs, a US congressional committee has moved to cancel the $6.8bn James Webb Space Telescope, poised to be the successor to Hubble Space Telescope. Should funding be reinstated or should NASA focus on other projects?

Do feel free to explain your position by posting a comment on the poll. You can vote on this poll on our Facebook page.

Results just in

Last week we asked you what you thought was the main benefit of studying physics at university. Options ranged from “Learning how the physical world works” to “Developing strong problem-solving skills”, “The wide range of career opportunities it can bring” and “The chance to play with some cool hi-tech equipment”. Among the 229 people who voted, “Learning how the physical world works” was the most popular with a 137 votes followed by “Developing strong problem-solving skills” at 63 votes. Interestingly, our “other” option that encouraged people to let us know what reasons they had for studying physics that did not fall in any of the above categories had 16 votes, with a few people pointing out that they chose physics to have a career in military research labs or, in one case, to “make something go boom”.

For some, like reader Craig Levin it was more about the type of course one was subscribing to. “If you’re taking ‘Physics for Poets’, you get a whizz-bang tour of the universe and how it works. If you’re taking a lab course, you’re getting a more in-depth picture and picking up some problem-solving skills and a little bit of project management.” he sagely pointed out. A tongue-in-cheek comment from reader Russell Davies read “I abandoned physics at age 18, because it appeared fraught with problems of limited career opportunities, limited income potential and a distinct lack of babes.”

Thank you for taking part in the poll and for taking the time to provide your thoughts. And don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll on our Facebook page.

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