Field of Science

GILDA or the future of the financial resources for italian research

GILDA is an italian beam line based on Grenoble, France. It has some financial problems, and the two responsibles (and the only researchers that work on the experiment in this moment) write a letter to the president of CNR, L.Nicolais. I share it for my readers (via Peppe Liberti)
To the President of CNR, Prof. L. Nicolais
Dear President
Since 1994 GILDA has provided to the user community an access to a high quality third generation synchrotron radiation source. The project has been a success considering the high number of publications, exceeding 500 units with a rate of about 40 publications per year in the last decade. In these years we have actively contributed to the diffusion of the Synchrotron Radiation techniques in the Italian community and formed an entire generation of scientists that now can be found not only in universities and research institutes but also in the staff of several synchrotron sources. In all the reviews of the beamline activity, carried out by external referees, it has been underlined the quality of the science produced at GILDA and its fundamental role in the overall ESRF activity.
In spite of that, the financial and human resources dedicated to this activity have plunged in the last years, leaving at present GILDA in severe difficulties. At present GILDA is left with only two units of personnel at Grenoble and ageing instrumentation so putting at a serious risk the efficient operation and quality of support that have characterized our instrument during its several years of life. The present shortage of local staff prevents GILDA from coming back to operation in the forthcoming 2012-I run with a severe damage to the vast community (material science, biology, chemistry, physics, earth and environmental science , archaeometry) waiting to carry out experiments there.
Time has come to invert the trend and to provide to GILDA all the necessary resources for continuing, in an effective way, its action for at the benefit of the italian and international scientific communities. This, also in the light of the present situation of ESRF where all the older beamlines have undergone (or are about to carry out) major refurbishment programs creating in this way an impressively competitive environment. For this reason, we ask to CNR to define a long term strategy for the activity of GILDA. This will include the necessary financial and human resources to carry out a comprehensive refurbishment program of the beamline and to ensure, in the years to come, the consistent staff and funds for an effective operation.
Without a prompt and massive intervention it will be inevitable, in the forthcoming months, to definitely close down the GILDA project that will have heavy consequences on the activity of the italian and international scientific community at ESRF.
Sincerely Yours
The GILDA responsibles
Francesco d'Acapito
Settimio Mobilio

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