Today at Berkeley Lab

BBC News Article Highlights Lab’s Role in Discovery of Plutonium

Uranium was long seen as the end of the periodic table, until 1932 when E.O. Lawrence invented the cyclotron, which smashed atoms and particles together, transforming one element into another. This is how synthetic plutonium was created in 1940 by a team led by Glenn Seaborg. More>

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Nature, Scientific American Tout the Benefits of Diversity in Science

There is growing evidence that embracing diversity — in all its senses — is key to doing good science. But there is still work to be done to ensure that inclusivity is the default, not the exception. Read about one study showing how diversity of authors may boost your citation rate. More>

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Google’s Struggle with Unconscious Bias

The New York Times reports that Google is undertaking a long-term effort to improve diversity in its work force, the centerpiece of which is a series of workshops aimed at making Google’s culture more accepting of diversity. Read about its struggles and view a video by one of its HR research analysts on hidden biases.

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Earth Sciences Recognized for Use of HPC at Contaminated Sites

The Earth Sciences Division’s contributions to the Advanced Simulation Capability for Environmental Management — which marks the first attempt “to use high-performance computing uncertainty quantification to identify key controls at a contaminated site — was recently recognized in LANL’s Actinide Research Quarterly. More>

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EETD’s Cohen Comments on China Pollution Affecting Fresno

Ronald Cohen of the Sustainable Energy Systems group says San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s research on whether plumes of pollution from China is worsening the air quality there detracts from the fight against more significant and local sources, such as diesel engines. More>

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Female Scientist Describes Sexual Assault in the Field

Following a study published in PLoS One in July finding that 26 percent of female scientists surveyed had been sexually assaulted doing fieldwork, the New York Times published a personal account of assault by one female scientist. Berkeley Lab, through the University of California, offers resources for reporting sexual harassment and sexual assault. Go here and click on the ‘Resources’ tab.

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Adventures in Antarctic Computing at IceCube

This neutrino telescope located at the South Pole — which is collecting and processing data from 5,160 optical sensors buried a mile deep in the icecap — presents considerable challenges, from overcoming power and bandwidth limitations to simulating the complexities of Antarctic ice. Lab researchers Lisa Gerhardt and Spencer Klein helped co-write an article on these challenges for IEEE. More>

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ABC 7 News Features Story on Filtration System for Arsenic-Concentrated Water

As the drought focuses new attention on California’s well water, a Bay Area start-up based on Lab-developed technology has come up with a way to make that water safer to drink, especially for small communities that don’t have an alternative. More>

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Lab Ecologist Included in PBS Series on Food Production

The top six inches of soil are the most precious, yet least understood ecosystem on earth. Experts, including Gary Anderson of the Earth Sciences Division, discuss how to save this precious resource using such methods as large-scale composting, carbon farming, and the creation of “biochar.” More>

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Director Co-Writes Op-Ed Touting Benefits of National Labs

Paul Alivisatos, along with Dan Arvizu, Charlie McMillan and Terry Michalske, illuminates the national lab system’s unsung contributions to improvements in energy supply and renewables, security of nuclear material, and health and medicine. The value of the labs will be on display during a science and technology exhibit on Capitol Hill next week. More>

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