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From the Director: The SPC Visits Again

On December 5 and 6, lab management hosted the semi-annual visit of our Scientific Policy Committee. The SPC is now one of four subcommittees of our Board of Overseers, which is chaired by Stanford Vice President for SLAC Bill Madia. This fall, for the first time, all subcommittees completed meetings, and a full board meeting will take place on December 19. The new system of Stanford University oversight is in place and seems to be working well.

The SPC is now firmly focused on oversight of our science programs. Highpoints of this visit were Linac Coherent Light Source progress, plans for early science and the light source strategy developments led by Jo Stohr and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Roger Falcone. The SPC was interested to hear about the future Particle Physics and Astrophysics programs and developments with SLAC participation in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Tor Raubenheimer gave an excellent talk on the laboratory’s accelerator science strategy. There was also a series of talks about some of the science currently going on at the lab, including lovely talks on recent experiments at FLASH and early results from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

This meeting was the final meeting for Professor Doug Rees of the California Institute of Technology, who has chaired the SPC for the past two years through a time of great change. We owe Doug thanks for his dedication, wise advice and unwavering support during a trying time for the laboratory. At the May 2009 meeting, Professor Graham Fleming from University of California at Berkeley will take over as chair and the board membership will rotate. The new membership will be posted on the director’s Web page once the invitations to the new members have been finalized.

—Persis Drell
SLAC Today, December 12, 2008