Comments on DOE "Facilities for the Future of Science: A Twenty-Year Outlook"

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Publication date: 
20 November 2003

Comments on the new Department of Energy report, "Facilities for the Future of Science: A Twenty-Year Outlook,"have been positive. Selections from letters and statements follow:


"During the past few years, our Advisory Committees have been deeply engaged in the first stages of developing a facilities plan. In late 2002, Dr. Orbach asked each Committee to consider a list of facilities in its respective discipline that could be built and operated by DOE over the next 20 years to enable forefront science. We were asked to categorize the facilities so defined in terms of scientific impact and readiness for construction. The Advisory Committees, following extensive considerations by Sub-Committees and input from our communities, accomplished the categorizations through thoughtful, open and diligent efforts. Much of the information, including presentations and conclusions, has been made available on the Advisory Committee Web sites. Dr. Orbach was provided with complete reports on our assessment of facilities and their impact.

"On July 29, Dr. Orbach briefed the six of us in confidence on the integrated 20-year plan as it has been developed by DOE SC under his leadership. In discussions after this briefing, we concluded that the overall process that has been followed was fair and thorough. Dr. Orbach has effectively prepared an integrated plan whose development takes into account the priorities in our fields as identified by our Committees, working within a set of boundary conditions that necessarily involve making difficult choices. We think that scientific opportunities as well as the mission needs of DOE were carefully considered in a process that was appropriately transparent and that can be rigorously defended."

LABORATORY DIRECTORS (Ames, Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Brookhaven, Fermi National Accelerator, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, Princeton Plasma, Stanford Linear Accelerator):

"We commend Dr. Ray Orbach, Director of the Office of Science, for bringing forward 'Facilities for the Future: A Twenty Year Outlook.' The process for developing this plan is noteworthy in its inclusion of the interests of the scientific constituencies of the Department of Energy. By broadly involving the scientific community and advisory apparatus of the Department, Dr. Orbach has developed a plan that will advance the many fields of science essential to the Department of Energy's missions.

"The construction of the major research facilities outlined in this plan will greatly strengthen the health of our Nation's scientific enterprise. We stand ready to apply our capabilities for advancing this plan to serve scientists from universities, industry, and the national laboratories. All of us endorse and strongly support this plan."


"The nation's research universities applaud the Department of Energy's vision in developing priorities for major scientific facilities that will further its science mission and advance the nation's scientific enterprise. This is a positive - and unprecedented - step by DOE, and we strongly endorse it. These new facilities and major scientific projects will enable university researchers and students from across the United States and around the world to explore and conquer new and exciting scientific frontiers.

"What is most important is that the Department's priorities are based on the recommendations and input of the scientific community and DOE's own scientific advisory panels. AAU looks forward to working with DOE to ensure that the needed funding is provided to begin work on the initial projects, without squeezing out other important scientific research being supported by the Department."

"CRITICAL CHOICES: SCIENCE, ENERGY, AND SECURITY: Final Report of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board's Task Force on the Future of Science Programs at the Department of Energy":

"We believe that the 20-year vision of future scientific facilities currently being developed in the Office of Science is outstanding and could have a far-reaching, positive effect on the nation's leadership in science. It should be an integral component of the Department's strategic plan."

ENERGY SCIENCES COALITION (Members include American Institute of Physics and American Physical Society):

"The twenty-year plan that the Department of Energy proposes brings together a strong understanding of the importance of the discoveries already made by scientists at these facilities, as well as trusting in future advances by scientists. . . . The facilities plan the Department of Energy released gives the science community a well- balanced and easily understood roadmap of priorities. Our coalition especially commends Dr. Ray Orbach for his leadership at the Office of Science and his vision and foresight in developing the Twenty-Year Plan."

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