Monday, February 27, 2006

Anastasio issues summary of science vision talk

This was listed as the top story on today's LANL NewsBulletin.


Anastasio issues summary of science vision talk

February 27, 2006

Los Alamos National Security, LLC President and Laboratory Director Designate Michael Anastasio followed up his all-employee talk last week with a written summary of his vision for science and technology at the Laboratory that he shared during the talk. Anastasio's summary was distributed to employees Friday in an all-employee memo from Director Bob Kuckuck. To read the summary, click here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required). The talk is being rebroadcast in its entirety on LABNET Channel 10. The science and technology talk is one of several transition-related, all-employee meetings Anastasio will hold with the work force. The next meeting is scheduled for March 9 (the LANS organizational approach).

The memo mentions two questions he could not answer.

Does anyone know what those questions were?
From the memo:

"I also outlined five scientific challenges that I discussed in our offer to the DOE to recruit the best, and develop and extend the underlying Lab capabilities:

• Fundamental understanding of materials and their dynamic response
• Beyond the standard model to understand the universe -- stellar formation, cosmology, dark
energy, dark matter
• High-temperature superconductivity from 5f electrons for energy efficiency and support of
actinide sciences
• Carbon-neutral fuel cycle -- from energy efficiency, to carbon sequestration, to the
administration’s new Global Nuclear Energy Program initiative
• Complex natural systems -- how to make system-level predictions, for example, at the
intersection of energy, environment, and life sciences"

Pardon me for observing: with the exception of the first bullet, these describe work that is outside of DOE's "comfort zone" for funded work at Los Alamos. Previously, work in these areas was funded primarily as WFO (Work For Others).

Guess what, UC (under the stellar leader ship of former director Nanos, and with the assistance of DOE and NNSA) successfully scared off most WFO sponsors.

Message for Mike: who are you trying to fool here? Us? Yourself? DOE?

Here are a few points of my own:

1. LANL is looking at budget reductions.
2. The cost of doing business at LANL has gone up (exorbitant "transition costs", award fee, GRT).
3. WFO is basically history.

Go ahead and spin your fairy tales; most of us don't believe a word you say. Your employer, UC has taught us that lesson.
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