Friday, May 30, 1997
1. BROOKHAVEN: DOE ANNOUNCEMENT CALMS SCIENTISTS SORT OF.
meeting did not go well. Lyle Schwartz, the interim Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory, who
also happens to be President of AUI, the notforlong contractor that manages the lab for DOE (WN 2 May 97), informed scientists that AUI had a contractual obligation to
provide advance termination notices to employees. The meeting dissolved into turmoil. But Wednesday,
DOE announced its plans for seeking a new contractor; the new contract, to be awarded in November, will
go to a notforprofit organization that "must agree to offer employment to virtually all current
Brookhaven employees at comparable pay and benefits."
2. SPACED OUT: "BREAKTHROUGH PROPULSION PHYSICS WORKSHOP."
If the laws of
physics aren't working for you, change 'em. The NASA Lewis Research Center in Ohio is sponsoring a
workshop in August "to begin the rigorous search for the propulsion breakthroughs that could
revolutionize space flight and enable human voyages to other star systems." Specifically, discoveries are
sought that: (1) eliminate the need for propellant; (2) attain maximum speed through the modification of
spacetime; (3) produce unlimited energy onboard. Thirteen invited speakers will explain such
revolutionary concepts as superluminal velocities, gravity shields, warp drives, and extracting energy from
3. JOB OPENINGS: KEY SCIENCE POSTS IN CLINTON ADMINISTRATION.
departure of Mary Good, Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, raises to at least seven the
number of highlevel vacancies in science and technology. Those who are going or gone with no
replacement in sight include: Ann Peterson, Deputy Director of NSF; Skip Johns, Associate Director of
OSTP for Technology; Ernie Moniz, Associate Director of OSTP for Science; Arati Prabhakar, Director of
NIST; Anita Jones, Director of Defense Research and Engineering; Paul Kaminski, Under Secretary of
Defense for Acquisition and Technology; Christine Ervin, Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy. At least one more highlevel departure from DOE is expected.
Director of OSTP John Gibbons is planning to leave soon (WN 2 May
97). A few months ago Mary Good was thought to be heir apparent to Gibbons, but the Bureau of
Rumors now favors John Deutch, lately of the CIA, for the job. Good's resignation came with Commerce
Secretary Daley out of the country, and there was no press statement. The big three, Lane at NSF, Goldin
at NASA and Varmus at NIH, are reportedly still on the job.
4. FLASH!! DUNCAN MOORE IS TAPPED FOR OSTP TECHNOLOGY POST.
Uhh, make that
six vacancies. Dean of Engineering at the Univ. of Rochester, Moore has just been nominated to replace
Skip Johns as Associate Director for Technology of the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy. He faces Senate confirmation.