Petitioning President, National Research Council John R. McDougall and 1 other

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State, Science and Technology: Find a way to keep the NRC's "Centre of the Universe" visitors centre open


The "Centre of the Universe" visitors centre at the NRC's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory near Victoria, BC, continues a tradition of communicating science to children and the general public that stretches back to May of 1918 when the Plaskett Telescope, a National Historic site, went into action. It was announced in June of 2013 that the Centre would no longer serve the public after August of 2013 due to financial constraints. This will result in job losses for the extremely knowledgeable, gifted communicators on staff, and the loss of a facility that serves both the local community and all of Canada. The centre communicates the cutting edge research done by the National Research Council of Canada in science and engineering to all age levels, particularly through school programmes in both official languages. Many interested tourists also view the facility. It creates a sense of pride in Canadian contributions to those fields, particularly the observatory's magnificent record of achievement that is recognized around the world, and gets young people excited about careers in those fields. The undersigned respectfully request that the Honourable Greg Rickford work to find a way to keep this unique Canadian treasure open, whether it be through restoring funding or working with interested parties to find a better business model (e.g. allowing it to advertise, online sales, collaborative funding models with other levels of government).

Letter to
President, National Research Council John R. McDougall
Minister of State, Science and Technology The Honourable Greg Rickford
Find a way to keep the NRC's "Centre of the Universe" visitors centre open