What will the benefits and advantages be of the upcoming generation of telescopes such as LSST, E-ELT and JWST? And more broadly where will this leave astronomy in 10-20 years time?

This isn't a direct duplicate of (What are the next planned space telescopes?) because I want to know what the aims and benefits of such telescopes are, and what new ones might have been planned since.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Dean. While it's an interesting question, it's just way too broad in scope for Stack Exchange. It would be a good chat topic but unfortunately, we do not, as yet, have a meaningful activity level in our chat room. $\endgroup$ – Donald.McLean Mar 4 '16 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Donald, I realised it might be seen as too broad or off topic but I wanted to try and generate some thoughtful discussion on the future of astronomy but as you point out this is best left to the chat room, when it picks up activity. $\endgroup$ – Dean Mar 4 '16 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ More specific questions about large projects might be more on topic... Thinking about an answer, I went to look at the "science aims" info for all three projects mentioned. But I was put off because they tend to talk about the current "fashionable" subjects, like Dark Energy and Exoplanets... $\endgroup$ – Andy Mar 4 '16 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I think that's a result of the way they have to apply to funding bodies, the most fashionable and profitable project will succeed in getting funding. That said, there's nothing wrong with searching for more Exoplanets or Dark Energy. $\endgroup$ – Dean Mar 4 '16 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ That is what is going to be going on over the next 10-20 years. The primary aim of these instruments is to solve problems surrounding dark energy/matter, habitable exoplanets and the search for life. "Fashionable" is just another way of saying that the majority of scientists are interested in getting answers to those questions. Aren't those then the most important ones? $\endgroup$ – Rob Jeffries Mar 4 '16 at 18:17