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Deputy Secretary of Energy Visits SLAC

(Photo - Clay Sell et al.) It was SLAC's great privilege and pleasure to host Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell on May 15. The Deputy Secretary met with senior management, researchers and members from the Stanford Site Office as he toured the facilities.

After a brief welcome and overview of SLAC by Jonathan Dorfan and a discussion about safety at the lab, the Deputy Secretary took a brisk tour of the site. From the overlook, he was able to grasp the extent and footprint of the laboratory and its relationship to the main Stanford campus. John Galayda reviewed the scientific excitement of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) and showed the Deputy Secretary where the LCLS construction is to take place. Jo Stohr led a tour of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) where scientists and users briefed the Deputy Secretary on exciting breakthroughs in drug discovery using protein crystallography, hydrogen storage research and the role of synchrotron radiation in environmental cleanup efforts.

David MacFarlane briefed the Deputy Secretary on the quest for understanding anti-matter at the B Factory and Steve Sekula explained the role of the dazzling array of displays in the BaBar control room. The tour ended on the second floor of the Kavli Building, where Roger Blandford spoke about our exciting particle astrophysics future.

The last two hours were devoted to focused discussions between SLAC and the President's office, including President Hennessy and Stanford General Council Debra Zumwalt. Deputy Secretary Sell provided a clear and helpful delineation of the key departmental objectives, starting with science and including the nuclear power agenda, the imperative for safe and efficient operations, and the need to develop better more fuel efficient energy sources. President Hennessy spoke about the very strong commitment of Stanford to its partnership with DOE, and Stanford's excitement at the future possibilities for extended campus-wide collaboration involving the SLAC science agenda. President Hennessy also led a discussion about the importance of improving K-12 science education and how we, working with DOE, could help with that critical need.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about how we might achieve a better balance between performance-based and compliance-based oversight.

—Chandra Shekhar
   SLAC Today, May 16, 2006

Image: Clay Sell (third from left) at the Overlook with Keith Hodgson, Nancy Sanchez, John Galayda, Jonathan Dorfan, and Jeff Logan. (Click on image for larger version.)