Sunday, February 06, 2005

Raiding "small science"

From Anonymous:

As if all the problems facing folks at the lab aren't enough, one of the weapons DAD's is now

manuevering to raid much of the "small science" programs funding to divert $'s to

revamping LANSCE and the P-RAD facilities. Studies are being started to make these

"small science" programs justify themselves. How about starting by making this DAD

justify why it is important for him to feather his nest and divert all these funds to his

white elephant.

A better question might be why the Lab even needs that DAD? These management structures are rarely more than one or two meeting's worth of a few people sitting around inventing and filling in the boxes beneath them.

One need only look at how many people with the title TSM make more than the highest paid Lab Fellow (not Sr. Lab Fellow) as evidence. Virtually all these people were "managers" in some "critical" management structure, but no longer perform that type of work. They still receive the same pay for that work of course. This does not count the ex-managers who were at least smart enough to latch onto non-TSM titles like "Senior Advisor" and the like to hide themselves and keep the management level salary.

And the beat goes on...
The continuous raiding of small scale science projects to 'bail-out' big, high profile physics at Los Alamos is almost of more importance to early and mid career staff than the contract recompetition. Those of us with less than ten years of service will most likely be more impacted by management that does not realize the true importance of small scale science than by a change in my retirement plan. I would love to keep the current UC retirement plan but NOT if it means that I have to deal with the political posturing and nepotism that appears to drive many of the decisions that dictate what programs go forward and which programs do not.
If one examines the citations to LANL publications (listed on the LANL library web page from Thomson ISI), one finds that almost all of the citations to LANL publications over the last ten years are to small scale activities at LANL, or to larger projects led by other laboratories with a small scale LANL participation. There are few citations to LANL-led large projects. This would appear to indicate that small scale science at LANL is effective and has significant impact.
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