Monday, August 01, 2005
[Note: There are one or two inaccuracies in this piece, most notably that I have not yet come back as an associate, although I plan to in a month.]
Last December, Doug Roberts, a software engineer at the Energy Department's Los Alamos National Laboratory, was driving down Interstate 25 from Albuquerque when he pulled into Arby's, a fast-food restaurant. He was frustrated and unhappy.
The preceding months at the laboratory had been difficult. Peter Nanos, the lab's director, temporarily shut down lab operations last July so he could investigate computer security and safety problems. Lab employees who were unhappy about the shutdown and critical of the director discovered they couldn't get their letters published in the lab's electronic Daily Newsbulletin, which had canceled its readers' forum. A local community newspaper was accepting letters from Los Alamos employees, but Roberts and others couldn't get the feedback they wanted through the local newspaper.