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Asia Minute: China’s Million Dollar Job Opportunity

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Hawai‘i’s unemployment rate remains at its lowest level in a decade—2.7 percent. But if you’re looking for a new job, and your background is in astronomy, you may be interested in a million-dollar opportunity in China. But there’s a catch. Or several of them. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.


Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post captures the heart of the story in a headline:

“China is offering over a million dollars for a foreigner to run the world’s largest telescope, so why is nobody applying?”

There are some challenges of the good variety.

You’d be the chief scientist for the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope with a generous research budget and free housing on top of that salary.

There are other challenges.

Politics—not just the academic kind, but also government considerations – you’d be working for the official Chinese Academy of Sciences.

You’ll need the right background: at least 20 years of experience, including time spent in a leading role at a large-scale radio telescope project, as well as a professorial rank at a world-class research institute or university.

You’d live in a remote place, one of China’s most underdeveloped areas, Guizhou Province in the southwest.

Oh, and the project isn’t exactly finished.

They’ve built the main dish, but you would be responsible for testing and calibrating thousands of movable reflection panels and other key components—reporting your progress to the government.

The job’s been on offer since May, and one official involved in the hiring told reporters “what can be said at this stage is that we have encountered many challenges, and we are continuing with the efforts.”

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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