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The Science of Calibration

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The Science of Calibration

What are the most demanding science drivers for calibration? The answer to this question depends on whether we are referring to absolute calibration, differential calibration, or some variant in between. Our published data, even after calibration, retain some imprint of the instrumentation used to obtain them, yet science should not need to care about such artifacts. In this talk I will take a broad look at the calibration of astronomical data and particularly those that have been generated by or will soon be generated by large surveys, and the requirements on calibration that need to be met if we are to extract the maximal science possible.