News

SLAC is facing budget cuts, layoffs

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) staff learned in an "all-hands" meeting today that its budget is being cut by Congress and the center will have to reduce its workforce by 15 percent, or the equivalent of 225 full-time positions.

SLAC is jointly operated by Stanford University and the federal Department of Energy.

Many of the budget cuts are coming in the particle physics program. Those being laid off will be informed in early February, according to an announcement made today by the university. Funding for the high-energy physics program was cut 20 percent, from an anticipated $120 million to $95 million.

SLAC's newest and highest priority project, the Linac Coherent Light Source, remains fully funded. But the center's major high-energy physics experiment, known as the B-factory, will shut down in March, seven months earlier than anticipated.

Budget cuts will also reduce the number of experiments to be conducted at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory from 1,300 in fiscal year 2007 to 1,000 in fiscal year 2008. The facility produces beams of X-rays used by some 2,000 scientists to study a broad range of materials.

— Don Kazak

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by SLACer
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 9, 2008 at 11:20 am

From the Director's meeting on Monday:

"...It pains me greatly that at a time when particle physics needs to be ever more international, the political process in the U.S. has resulted in real damage to the relationships with our international partners. ..."

(complete speach can be found at: Web Link)

Our elected leaders, especially those from the Bay Area, have shown a firm lack of leadership and a failure to deliver.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

So it was not political when SLAC openly announced a policy of refusing any defense related work? It was not political when Sydney used his office to oppose the US foreign policy? Get real.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Berkeley National Lab Scientist
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Both the Democrats and Republicans had NSF and DOE budget increases planned in their federal budgets this year. We in the national lab community were pretty excited. Then they fought over unrelated parts of the budgets and eventually both sides seemed to forget about science, despite it being one of the few areas where both sides agreed. This cut is essentially a giant, ludicrous clerical error. They forgot about us. Each side is equally guilty. Blame the way the American government works.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Hey, Berklab boy, What have you done since Teller died? And what was Teller's attitude about national defense? Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.


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