Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The LANL CSO's comments on my letter

The CSO (Chief Science Officer) of LANL had his comments on my letter appear in the LANL NewsBulletin at the same time my letter was published:

Dec. 23, 2004

Response to concerned about science

I appreciate Mr. Roberts' concern in his Nov. 12 submission to the Reader's Forum. His concern also was shared by Laboratory Director G. Peter Nanos, myself, and other members of the Executive Board. To that end, shortly after the suspension of operations began, I wrote a master management memo that spoke to, I believe, the points Mr. Roberts makes.

In my July 27 master management memo, Restart Exemptions, I said that the Laboratory had no intention of defaulting on its scientific committments, and that any staff member who had concerns about the suspension of operations could contact me. Additionally, staff members could contact their associate directors, who I would then work with to address issues related to the suspension of operations and how it may affect their research on a case-by-case basis.

Early on in the suspension of operations, associate directors also were asked to contact [funding] sponsors and explain the Laboratory's situation and how the suspension of operations was done with the goal of making Los Alamos a stronger and better laboratory.

The Chief Science Officer office and others worked aggressively to mitigate the types of situations that Mr. Roberts described in his letter. We attempted to address these situations as expeditiously as possible while also making sure that we also were meeting all of our restart requirements. No Laboratory technical staff member should have been told to provide the response Mr. Roberts notes in his letter, and it is indeed unfortunate if such responses led to the Laboratory losing important scientific research.

I invite any staff member who shares Mr. Robert's concerns, or would like to discuss other matters related to the science that we perform at this Laboratory, to write me at by electronic mail. Rest assured, we will continue to address this matter and work to ensure that Los Alamos is best in class.

--Tom Bowles, chief science officer

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