Representative recognized women in 15 Assembly District who have made significant contributions in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), including Lab life scientist Mina Bissell. More>
Group led hands-on demos of capabilities at Lab User Facilities. More>
Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who represents southern San Francisco and northern Peninsula communities, recently spent an afternoon at Berkeley Lab. In addition to an overview of the Lab provided by Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, Speier toured the FLEXLAB and the Advanced Light Source. The Congresswoman was elected to the Congress in 2008. Previously she served the residents of the San Francisco Peninsula while on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and later in the California State Assembly and State Senate. In total she has over 29 years of representative public service.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein visited Berkeley Lab on Tuesday, April 15. As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Feinstein plays an important role in setting funding levels for the Department of Energy. Lab Director Paul Alivisatos hosted the Senator on a tour of the Advanced Light Source where she met with scientists and users from industry and academia, and on a tour of the Molecular Foundry.
California State Assembly member Rob Bonta visited Berkeley Lab last week for a tour of the Advanced Light Source and a series of briefings by Lab scientists. Bonta represents the 18th Assembly district, which includes the cities of Oakland and Alameda. At the ALS, he learned about the latest research conducted there on protein crystallography, materials related to energy storage and semiconductors. He was also briefed on the need for regional climate readiness, FLEXLAB and air quality in California public schools. He was also shown modeling of the impact of state policies on greenhouse gas emissions in California.
Senators Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and Mark Rubio (R-Florida) recently introduced bipartisan legislation — the America INNOVATES Act — that promotes innovation by giving the National Labs more flexibility to partner with the private sector and streamlines DOE management structures via targeted reforms. During Coon’s floor speech, he highlighted the successful partnership between the Advanced Light Source, Materials Sciences Division’s Center for X-Ray Optics, and SEMATECH, a consortium of semiconductor companies and chipmakers. He learned of the partnership during a visit to the Lab in early December. Coons mentions the partnership at about 8:34 in the video.
The Lab was a popular place last week, with both a senator and House Appropriations staff member visiting. Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons (left) stopped by to learn how national labs promote innovation and technology transfer, while Ben Hammond of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations subcommittee explored programs at NCEM, NERSC, JBEI, JCAP, and BELLA. Both visitors took tours of the Advanced Light Source and Molecular Foundry, as well as met with senior leaders and scientists.
Jake Oster, deputy chief of staff for Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont, first contacted the Lab in October to thank EETD researchers Jennifer Logue, Max Sherman, Iain Walker and Brett Singer for their report about the benefits of retrofitting homes. Oster is point person for the congressman’s efforts to move legislation to incentivize weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements. Last week, he visited the Lab to meet with Sherman, Walker and Alecia Ward, EETDs Lead for Program and Business Development.
As Congress and the Obama administration negotiate a spending plan for 2014, University of California leaders are urging that the repeal of sequestration be a top budget priority. A letter to California’s congressional delegation — signed by President Janet Napolitano and campus chancellors — describes the economic and human toll from the indiscriminate federal spending cuts. “Promising science is being delayed or terminated. Labs are being forced to lay off highly trained staff,” they write. “Perhaps most troubling, young researchers are questioning whether to pursue research careers because vital fellowships are threatened and it is taking increasingly longer for them to obtain their first independent research grants.” More>
Last week, Berkeley Lab physicist and Nobel-prize winner Saul Perlmutter testified before the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing on the reauthorization of the America COMPETEs Act. The act was first passed in 2007, with broad bipartisan support that authorized the doubling of the budgets for the Office of Science and National Science Foundation within seven years. Although COMPETEs was reauthorized in 2010, the budgets of these science agencies have not kept pace with what the legislation established. Perlmutter testified that the current trends in science funding threaten the country’s competitiveness while the innovation in other countries is improving. Go here to watch the proceedings and to read the testimony of Perlmutter and other panelists.