Back in October of 1991 ESO conducted a workshop titled "Coating and Cleaning Large Mirrors". This workshop was the first attempt to bring together the folks who do the dirty work in astronomy, the folks who coat and clean the massive optics we often take for granted. Since then we have seen a slow, but steady, stream of progress which recognizes the importance of creating excellent mirror coatings and maintaining their pristine appearance during their exposed lifetimes.
CFHT was proud to sponsor the most recent conference in this field when it held "Telescope Mirror Coatings and Cleaning" at the Royal Waikoloan Resort on the 13th and 14th of November 1997. On these dates 61 representatives from 19 separate organizations came to the Big Island to discuss the current state-of the-art. Almost all the Mauna Kea Observatories were present along with institutions from the Canary Islands, Chile, Italy, the island of Maui, and the US states of Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and Arizona.
The topics presented on Thursday ranged from the detailed and well-researched plans for cleaning the VLT mirrors (Paul Giordano, ESO) to the application of the arcane art of Glow-Discharge cleaning (John Filhaber, Gemini). On Friday attendees were all taken to the summit to tour the facilities of CFHT, Gemini, Keck, UKIRT, and Subaru. It is really quite extraordinary for newcomers to the summit to see the scale of activities we all are somewhat used to. 500 million dollars worth of telescope construction in the last five years is some testimony to the belief that this is the best site in the world.
At the end of the two days there was unanimous agreement to continue to host similar workshops in the future. No decision has been made as to where or when the next one will happen.
The proceedings of this conference will be produced this Spring. CFHT plans to distribute copies to all participants and interested parties. Aside from this notice there are no plans to "put it on the web".