Chu to Regents; Chu Introduces Space Issue
Lab's incoming Director, Steven Chu, was introduced to the
University of California Board of Regents in San Francisco
yesterday, and he wasted no time in getting down to business.
Taking a few moments to reflect the scientific quality that
he said he has found at the Lab, Chu told the Regents that
sustained excellence will depend heavily upon adequate space,
both on the hill and on campus
of the biggest problems with the lab is the space issue,"
he said. "One division director I spoke to said he has 70
investigators spread out in 14 buildings. You can't build
intellectual units this way."
he saw "great opportunities at this marvelous and diverse
laboratory," in particular the prospect of "bringing these
parts together in ways that are ripe. As I talk to division
directors and leaders, there is excitement about the opportunities
to move forward and bring all these pieces together."
cautioned, frustration over space shortcomings can lead to
a migration of quality scientists to other locations, including
the Berkeley campus, which has its own space challenges. "We
want to establish a core of excellence on the hill," Chu said,
"and a sane building program on campus and at the lab" is
necessary to sustain the excellence of both institutions."
He vowed to work with the Regents, the new Berkeley Chancellor,
and "the two Bobs" (UC President Robert Dynes and Vice President
Robert Foley) to think creatively about how we can solve both
introduction followed a lengthy discussion by the Regents
about the latest security issue at Los Alamos, which involved
the disappearance of some classified material in the physics
directorate. Chu reflected upon his own experience at Stanford,
when the university was penalized for environmental safety
violations. As a result, he said a committee was formed, on
which he served, and a culture change was implemented and
directly addressed down to the graduate student and post-doc
there is no classified material at Berkeley Lab, we do have
similar management issues, and they need to be taken seriously,"
he told the Regents. "If the lab isn't managed in a (safe
and secure) way, no matter how good the science is, the lab
is in serious jeopardy."
one incident, in which a post-doc in his lab failed to label
a container of dangerous corrosive solution, as "fundamentally
antisocial behavior. He put everyone in jeopardy." He also
noted that "there is a one-to-one correlation between how
neat a person's lab is and how good the research is. If your
lab is messy, your result is probably not going to be reasonable."
Dynes introduced Chu with a summary of his accomplishments,
including his description of Chu as "a pioneer in an area
of extremely exciting science, the convergence of the physical
with the biological sciences."
is a critical time in the relationship between the University
of California and the federal government," Dynes said. "And
the fact that we could attract Steve to this job speaks volumes
to me about the strengths of the university and our ability
to recruit people of such national stature and quality."
by acknowledging outgoing Director Charles Shank, who "in the
last 15 years...has done a marvelous job and leaves the lab
in great condition."
at Berkeley Lab"