SLAC Today is available online at:
In this issue:
From the Director: The SLAC Improvement Initiative (SII)
SLAC to Screen "Sputnik Mania" Documentary
Word of the Week: "Lepton"
Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving
Pief Panofsky: A SLAC Symposium
Photo: SLAC Run and Walk Winners

SLAC Today

Friday - November 16, 2007

From the Director: The SLAC Improvement Initiative (SII)

(Photo - Persis Drell)

We are embarked on a several-year voyage to put in place the management structures and processes at SLAC that will optimally enable the creativity and innovation that are the lifeblood of the lab. We brought in consultants Bob McCallum and Kyle Turner to help us evaluate how we function and to propose improvements to the management and operation of the laboratory. Their final report, which contains their recommendations, will be released to the lab community after the holiday. The next leg of the voyage is to develop our own plan for improvements, based, in part, on their recommendations. The result will become the SLAC Improvement Initiative (SII), which will include an executable, resource-loaded implementation plan aligned with SLAC's vision and mission.

We have already been taking the early and in some cases foundational steps to move the lab forward. You have seen the organizational changes. A task force is working on the long-range scientific vision for the lab with an expected draft which we will share with you in January. A draft vision statement, mission statement and summary of core values for the lab were posted for your comment earlier in the week. We have been getting feedback, both positive and negative. I encourage you to engage in the debate by sending your comments to

I have worked with my senior managers to define their roles and responsibilities, as well as my expectations for their performance based on the core values you have seen. We are working well together and there are small victories we can celebrate. For example, over the past weeks, staff from PEP-II and BaBar have moved over to help the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) and LCLS Ultrafast Science Instruments (LUSI) projects, while Photon Science Directorate and Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) Assistant Director Elizabeth Caplun-Cochrane has moved away from some of her duties to be the project manager for the SII for the next few months. For me, this is visible commitment of senior management to the "One Lab" concept, in which we decide to take action based on what is best for the lab as a whole.  Read more...

Colloquium Monday

SLAC to Screen "Sputnik Mania" Documentary

(Image courtesy of Jason Beckwith.)

Next Monday afternoon, acclaimed filmmaker David Hoffman will personally introduce his documentary "Sputnik Mania" before screening the award-winning film.

Mark your calendars for this regional premiere, which will take place at 4:15 p.m. in SLAC's Panofsky Auditorium.
Learn more...

Word of the Week:

Leptons are a family of subatomic particles having a spin of 1/2 that do not experience the strong nuclear force. There are three types or "flavors" of lepton—the electron, muon and tau—and each has a corresponding neutrino. SLAC physicist Martin Perl received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the tau, which, although it is similar to the electron, is 3,000 times more massive.

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

As you are out shopping for your Thanksgiving Feast this weekend, take a moment to think of all the people who won't be able to afford that turkey with all the trimmings. If you can spare a few extra dollars from your budget, please consider adding some non-perishable items to your grocery cart and donating them to the Second Harvest Food Bank by placing them in one of the many barrels located at SLAC.

The Second Harvest Food Bank provides food for people in need from Gilroy to South San Francisco and from the Coast to the Bay. In a year they can distribute over 30 million pounds of food to needy families, senior citizens and over 70 partner agencies and distribution sites. Look for signage on the barrels or bags to see what foods are most needed.

Thanks for Giving!

Pief Panofsky:
A SLAC Symposium

Pief Panofsky
(Image courtesy of Diana Rogers.)

Few would dispute the far-ranging scientific and political impact of Pief Panofsky's professional achievements. A renowned physicist, pioneering lab director, indefatigable arms-control advocate, and advisor to US presidents and world leaders—Pief achieved much from a young age, lived a long life and has left a legacy that in some ways will remain immeasurable.

The professional life of Pief Panofsky is the subject of an upcoming symposium that will celebrate these remarkable achievements. As chair of the organizing committee for the symposium, former SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan said he and the committee will work closely with the Panofsky family and with those at SLAC and in the worldwide community who knew Pief best to organize the event. Dorfan said he anticipates that a highly international, illustrious group of scientific and government professionals will come to Stanford to honor Pief.

The day-long symposium will comprise a series of speakers who will summarize Pief's achievements as a scientist and humanitarian. Although the event is tentatively scheduled for this coming spring, the final date and agenda will be established by the end of this year.

"Of course we will never forget Pief," said Dorfan. "This will be a special opportunity for us to appreciate Pief's humanity and celebrate his professional life."

Photo: SLAC Run and Walk Winners

Click on image for larger version.
(Image courtesy of Diana Rogers.)

Congratulations to this year's SLAC Run and Walk winners! Preliminary results are now posted to the event website.

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