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SLUO Meeting: Redefining the User Facility

On February 7th, the SLAC Users Organization (SLUO) is convening a meeting to explore the relationship between SLAC and its users in an era of growing involvements in off-site international projects.

The Department of Energy has charged the P5 subpanel of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) with re-evaluating the U.S. particle physics program for the next ten years. The subpanel's final report is due April 15; a visit to SLAC is planned for February 21-23.

The SLAC Users Organization (SLUO) is planning a meeting to help provide input into this process. This meeting will include presentations and discussion directed explicitly at future SLAC programs, and how the scientific interests of the user community can best be served. The intent is to produce a summary of the discussions, to be transmitted to P5 and the SLAC Particle Physics and Astrophysics (PPA) Directorate.

The guiding goal of this meeting is not to establish scientific priorities, but rather to evaluate how SLAC could best support various scientific programs and how the unique and strong international SLAC users community envisages the role of SLAC as a major international PPA facility in the context of its growing involvement in off-site international projects.

The SLUO executive committee expects the discussions to form a representative view of the interests of the present and potential future SLAC international community, taking into account the roles that SLAC may play as a national U.S. lab and as one of the main international facilities for particle and astroparticle physics. We do not plan to emerge with a set of priorities, but we hope that we can develop a perspective on where the strongest interests lie and on which aspects SLAC can provide a solid base. We believe that as a message directly from the user community, this will be of substantial interest in the overall planning process.

The meeting will be held on February 7th, in the Research Office Building's Redwood Rooms. The agenda, accessible from the SLUO webpage, includes brief presentations by people involved with possible projects. Input from everyone is encouraged. Under the circumstances, the most efficient way to achieve this is to e-mail comments to the SLUO Executive Committee in advance of the meeting (or as a follow-on to the meeting as appropriate). The meeting itself is open to everyone, as are all SLUO meetings. In order to facilitate efficient discussion, we plan not to have open phone access.

Given the recent events in Washington, we understand the great uncertainty and skepticism surrounding the future of science in the U.S. and its negative impact in all our user community's countries and for the future of any worldwide scientific cooperation. However, we believe that we must continue to plan in the hopes that things will improve, so that we will be ready.

Gerard Bonneaud, on behalf of the SLUO Executive Committee, SLAC Today, February 4, 2008