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Statement from Director Claire Max


Official Statement from Sandra Faber, UCSC Professor Emeritus

TMT petition: an apology and clarifications

April 22, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

On April 20th, I circulated an email describing the recent protests against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, and encouraging people to sign a pro-TMT petition originated by a high school student in Hawaii.

It is very unfortunate that my email contained some inflammatory and insensitive language. I sent this message with the intent of spreading the word about the pro-TMT petition. I regret that I sent it in a hurry, without thinking through how the message was written or how it would be interpreted. This was a mistake on my part, for which I sincerely apologize.

I deeply regret the language that I used to describe the protestors. I have great respect for the special nature of Mauna Kea, and profound regard for Hawaii's culture, environment and people. Like many astronomers who use the great telescopes on Mauna Kea, I have participated personally and joyfully in ceremonies to celebrate the profound cosmic understanding that comes from joining ancient Hawaiian navigator traditions with the techniques of modern astronomy. I am committed to an open and respectful dialog with all stakeholders about the future of astronomy on Mauna Kea.

I continue to enthusiastically support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, and I hope that my regrettable email message does not reflect negatively on TMT.


Professor Emeritus Sandra Faber
University of California at Santa Cruz

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