The Kavli Foundation recently hosted a roundtable discussion about the BRAIN Initiative, which seeks to measure how the brain’s billions of neurons organize themselves into neural circuits and communicate with one another. The talk includes four experts, including Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, who discuss how nanotechnology can change the way we measure brain activity. More>
Posts Tagged ‘Directorate’
American leadership in science has been a given for most of the last century. About a third of science research and development in this country has been supported by the federal government. Funding for about 60 percent of basic research in science comes from Washington. We’ve celebrated the results, from moon shots to the Internet. Now Washington’s cutting back, and it’s hitting American science — just when competitor nations are plowing more cash into the science frontier. More>
The recipients of the Director’s Lifetime and Exceptional Achievement Awards have been announced. David Nygren (Physics) and Arie Shoshani (Computational Research), pictured l-r, are the recipients of the Berkeley Lab Prize Lifetime Achievement Award. Exceptional Achievement honorees include Ron Zuckerman (Safety), Warren Byrne (Service), Nathan Hillson (Tech Transfer), Roy Kaltschmidt (Outreach), Jill Fuss and Elizabeth Bautista (Diversity), David Kestell (Operations), and Haimei Zheng, Kevin Einsweiler, Rebecca Abergel, Peter Nugent, Kam-Biu Luk, and Kirsten Persson (Science). Team awards went to Evan Mills, Norman Bourassa, Leo Rainer, and Gregory Homan (Societal Impact), and the HR Recruiting/Hiring Technology Improvement group (Operations). Go here for more on the Berkeley Lab Prize, and here for Achievement Awards.
The Biosciences 10-Year Strategic Plan, the first to incorporate feedback from all area divisions and an external advisory committee, is now available. It describes a vision for a national future strengthened by biological research achievements and provides guidance for Berkeley Lab’s activities to meet these ambitious aims. The plan hones the uses of biosciences to address energy needs, protect the environment, understand and improve health, and develop biomanufacturing technologies. The Biosciences Area is assembling four cross-divisional implementation teams who will articulate concrete objectives and new initiatives required to reach the plan’s milestones.
Thanks to those who provided feedback on the announcement about discontinuing the free after-hours/weekend taxi service. While Lab management is exploring alternative options — possibly a final shuttle at approximately 9 p.m. — the free taxi service will still end on May 31. Deciding factors include rapidly escalating costs (nearly threefold in the last three years), tightening Lab budgets, and the fact that a relatively small fraction of the Lab population uses uses the service (some regularly), while remaining employees use the shuttle or their own transportation. Current alternatives include the Zimride ride sharing service, the Guaranteed Ride Home program, paying out-of-pocket for taxi service, and modifying work schedules to align with Lab shuttles, which run from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Julie Christodoulou, director of the U.S. Office of Naval Research’s Materials Division, will visit the Lab tomorrow to present a talk on “Computation-Guided Experimentation in Materials Research: A Systems-Level Approach to Science for Innovation.” The event takes place at noon in Building 15-253. Christodoulou will describe her office’s materials program and the “role of integrated computation and experimentation to elucidate the fundamental understanding that empowers innovative solutions.”
Environmental geophysicist Susan Hubbard has been named as the new director of the Earth Sciences Division (ESD), effective today (April 5). She takes over from Associate Lab Director for Energy and Environment Don DePaolo, who served as acting division director. Hubbard joined the Lab as a scientist in 1998, later becoming the lead of ESD’s Environmental Water and Resources Program. She served as ESD deputy director for science since 2010. Her research focuses on advancing the use of geophysical methods for shallow subsurface characterization and monitoring. Go here for more on Hubbard.
Berkeley Lab’s Paul Alivisatos and Jay Keasling, along with John Ngai of the Physical Biosciences Division who directs UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, were at the White House yesterday for President Obama’s announcement of a major new initiative designed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain. The President is proposing $100 million in his FY2014 budget to launch BRAIN – Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. Under this initiative, which stems from a paper co-authored by Alivisatos, real-time traffic maps will be created of the brain’s 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections to provide new insights into brain disorders. More>
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) named Berkeley Lab’s Horst Simon as a member of its 2013 Class of SIAM Fellows. Simon was recognized “for contributions to parallel computational methods and service to the computational science community.” Distinguished members were nominated for their exemplary research as well as outstanding service to the community. Through their contributions, SIAM Fellows help advance the fields of applied mathematics and computational science. Simon joins 32 other members in this year’s class. More>
Most of the talk about sequestration has focused on its immediate impacts. But one severe impact of the automatic spending cuts will only be felt years in the future, when the nation begins to feel the loss of important new scientific ideas that now will not be explored, and of brilliant young scientists who now will take their talents overseas or perhaps even abandon research entirely. Less than one percent of the federal budget goes to fund basic science research. By slashing that fraction even further, the government will achieve short-term savings in millions this year, but the resulting gaps in the innovation pipeline could cost billions of dollars and hurt the national economy for decades to come. More>