March 2009 News Archive

March 31, 2009
Congratulations to US CMS (Dan Green) and US ATLAS (Howard Gordon)
Congratulations on receiving the Achievement Award from Energy Secretary
Steve Chu on behalf of US ATLAS and US CMS, upon completion of the Detector Project.

March 30, 2009

Forum on International Physics Events at APS April Meeting

Dear Colleagues,
Note the several events on this list on HEP and the LHC.

Message to the members of the American Physical Society
Forum on International Physics. Authorized by Noemi Mirkin,

Dear FIP members:

I am writing to apprise you of the FIP activities at the APS
April 2009 Meeting in Denver.

* Invited Sessions: Saturday 2, Sunday 3 and Monday 4

Details below. PLEASE JOIN US!

May 2-5, 2009; Denver, Colorado



SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2009 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM - Governor's Square 12
Chair: Galileo Violini, Universita della Calabria

* John Wheatley Award Talk: Building bridges instead of fences.
Renewed Science cooperation with Latin America.
Carlos Ordonez, University of Houston

* An overview of experimental High Energy Physics in South America
Ronald Cintra Shellard, Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas

* Physics in the Andean Countries: A Perspective from Condensed
Matter, Novel Materials and Nanotechnology
P. Prieto, Center of Excellence on Novel Materials, Universidad
del Valle in Cali, Colombia

SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2009 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM - Plaza F
Co-Sponsor: FPS
Chair: Pushpa Bhat, Fermi National Accelerator Facility, and Lawrence
Krauss, Arizona State University

* Beller Lectureship Talk: International Scientific Collaboration
Chris Llewellyn Smith, Theoretical Physics, Oxford, UK

* Global Physics Projects - Panelist
Dennis Kovar, Department of Energy

* A Perspective on the Art of Mega Physics Progress and the
Future of International Science
Joseph Dehmer, National Science Foundation

* Global Physics Projects - Panelist
Michael Holland, Office of Management and Budget


SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2009 10:45 AM - 12:30 PM - Governor's Square 12
Co-Sponsor: FPS
Chair: Noemie Benczer-Koller, Rutgers University

* A Contract Between Science and Society
Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Canada

* Radioactive Waste Management, its Global Implication on
Societies, and Political Impact
Kazuaki Matsui, Institute for Applied Energy

* Management of Spent Nuclear Fuel of Nuclear Research Reactor
VVR-S at the National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering,
Bucharest, Romania
Lucian Biro, National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control, Romania


Panel Discussion
MONDAY, MAY 4, 2009 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM -Governor's Square 16
Co-Sponsor: FGSA
Chair: Kendall Mahn, Columbia University

* Modern International Research Groups: Networks and Infrastructure
Linda Katehi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

* Working on an Experiment Half a World Away
Morgan Wascko, Imperial College London

* How the LHC Has Revolutionized Collaboration and Research
Michael Tuts, Columbia University

* Life as a Graduate Student in a Globalized Collaboration
Claudia Fracchiolla

March 30, 2009

House Letter in support of 8% increase for Office of Science

Dear Colleagues,

Please write to your Congressional Representatives within the
next couple of days, asking them to sign the House Letter in support
of an 8% Increase in Office of Science funding in 2010. See the link to instructions
You may also consider including a sentence emphasizing the
strong partnership between the DOE laboratories and universities,
in the LHC program for example, that is at the root of our success
in fundamental research in the physical sciences
. As I have mentioned
emphasizing this partnership will help Congress to appreciate the
fact that the DOE Office of Science is a prime supporter of broad based
basic research in the physical sciences, along with the National Science

Best regards

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 37: March 30, 2009
Web version:

Short Deadline: House Letter in Support of 8% Increase for Office
of Science

March 30, 2009, No. 37

There is not much time for representatives to sign a letter to
the senior leadership of the House Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Subcommittee in support of an 8 percent FR 2010
funding increase for the Department of Energy's Office of
Science. A letter will be sent this Friday, April 3, to
Subcommittee Chairman Peter Visclosky (D-IN) and Ranking Member
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ). This effort is being lead by Rep.
Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), and Rep. Rush
Holt (D-NJ). In reaching its conclusion, the letter states:

"we urge you to increase funding for the DOE Office of Science in
Fiscal Year 2010 by 8 percent over Fiscal Year 2009, consistent
with President Obama's plan to double the Federal investment in
the basic sciences within the next decade. Furthermore, we urge
you to focus this funding on mission-related activities and
facilities, and to avoid using core DOE research program budgets
to fund extraneous projects. With this funding, the DOE Office of
Science will attract the best minds, educate the next generation
of scientists and engineers, support the construction and
operation of modern facilities, and conduct even more of the
quality scientific research that will create jobs and ensure the
U.S. retains its competitive edge for many years to come."

Members of Congress are far more likely to sign such a letter if
they are requested to do so by a constituent. See for guidance on how to do so.
Contact information can be accessed at

full text of the Biggert-Holt-Tauscher letter follows below:

Dear Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Frelinghuysen:

As you begin your work on the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water
Appropriations bill, we write to express our strong support for
the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science In
particular, we urge you to increase Fiscal Year 2010 funding for
its research and facilities by 8 percent over Fiscal Year 2009 to
$5.2 billion, which is consistent with President Obama's plan to
double the Federal investment in the basic sciences within the
next decade.

In recent years, Congress has come to recognize that science will
be the foundation for the innovation and solutions that will
enable us to overcome many of our greatest challenges -from our
economic crises and environmental concerns to our dependence on
foreign energy and escalating health care costs - and to remain
globally competitive as a nation. As evidenced by the
overwhelming bipartisan vote for enactment of the America
COMPETES Act in 2007 (P.L. 110-69), both Democrats and
Republicans support efforts to double federal funding for basic
research in the physical sciences within the next decade.
Congress built on this commitment by funding the programs and
activities authorized by the America COMPETES Act in the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act and in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus
Appropriations bill.

Congress must build on and provide the resources to sustain this
investment in Fiscal Year 2010. Report after report - from the
National Academy of Sciences and the President's Council of
Advisors on Science and Technology to the Task Force on the
Future of American Innovation and the Council on Competitiveness
- has called on Congress and the President to invest in U.S.
research capabilities. The benefits of such an investment to the
U.S. economy and U.S. competitiveness are well known. Economic
experts have concluded that science-driven technology has
accounted for more than 50 percent of the growth of the U.S.
economy during the last half-century.

This kind of technology-based economic growth cannot be sustained
without additional investment in the kind of basic research
supported by the DOE Office of Science. We face a world in which
our economic competitors in Asia and Europe are making
significant new investments in their own research capabilities.
These investments are beginning to payoff, as Asian and European
countries challenge U.S. leadership in the sciences no matter how
it is measured -- by number of patents won, articles submitted to
scientific journals, degrees awarded, Nobel prizes won, or the
percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dedicated to research
and development.

Even as we face greater international competition, these are
exciting times for science in the United States. There are many
great opportunities for scientific discovery, and with adequate
funding, the DOE Office of Science will ensure the U.S. retains
its dominance in such key scientific fields as nanotechnology,
materials science, biotechnology, and supercomputing well into
the next century. Through critical new investments in biofuels
research and basic energy science, the DOE Office of Science will
continue to play a vital role in developing the knowledge and the
technologies essential to ensuring the nation's future energy
security. Finally, increased funding for the DOE Office of
Science will give the economy a boost in the near-term by
creating good-paying, American jobs in construction,
manufacturing, and research. And in the long-term, such an
investment in the nation's scientific and research enterprise -
both human and physical capital - will increase our capacity to
innovate, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy,
enhance our competitive edge in the global economy, and thus
create the jobs of the future.

U.S. scientists are as bright as any in the world, but they
traditionally have had better tools than everyone else. The DOE
Office of Science has led the way in creating a unique system of
large-scale, specialized user facilities for scientific
discovery. This collection of cutting-edge - often one-of-a-kind
- tools makes the DOE Office of Science an exceptional and
critical component of the federal science portfolio. Other
federal science agencies, such as the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), greatly
depend upon these DOE Office of Science facilities in carrying
out their own research activities. In Fiscal Year 2009 alone,
over 21,500 researchers have access to these special DOE
facilities. Nearly half of those users will be university faculty
and students - many whose research is being supported by other
federal agencies - and a significant number will be from U.S.

For these many reasons, we urge you to increase funding for the
DOE Office of Science in Fiscal Year 2010 by 8 percent over
Fiscal Year 2009, consistent with President Obama's plan to
double the Federal investment in the basic sciences within the
next decade. Furthermore, we urge you to focus this funding on
mission-related activities and facilities, and to avoid using
core DOE research program budgets to fund extraneous projects.
With this funding, the DOE Office of Science will attract the
best minds, educate the next generation of scientists and
engineers, support the construction and operation of modern
facilities, and conduct even more of the quality scientific
research that will create jobs and ensure the U.S. retains its
competitive edge for many years to come.

Thanks for your consideration. We are cognizant of the difficult
budget situation under which your subcommittee is working, and we
urge you to contact us if we may be of assistance in any way.


Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
The American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-309

March 27, 2009

GHP:DPF 2009 – Bulletin

Message to members of DPF and GHP, authorized by officers of above units.
2009 Meeting of the Division of Particles and Fields of the
American Physical Society (DPF 2009)
2nd Bulletin

15 March 2009

The 2009 Meeting of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American
Physical Society (DPF 2009) will take place from 26 to 31 July 2009 in Detroit,
Michigan on the campus of Wayne State University. The conference will consist
of five days of morning plenary talks and four days of afternoon parallel
sessions (including a poster session).

With the anticipated turn-on of the Large Hadron Collider later this year, we
expect a very exciting scientific program. The conference will cover the latest
experimental and theoretical results in

* Accelerator Physics
* Beyond the Standard Model
* Computing in HEP
* CP-violation
* Detector Technology and R&D
* Education and Outreach in HEP
* Electroweak Physics [W/Z]
* Field and String Theory
* Hadronic Physics
* Heavy Ion Physics / Hot and Dense QCD
* Heavy Flavor Physics
* Higgs Physics
* Low Energy Searches for BSM Physics
* Neutrino Physics
* Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
* Perturbative and Non-perturbative QCD
* Top Quark Physics

Social activities include the conference Welcome Reception at the Detroit
Public Library on the evening of July 27th, a banquet and excursion at the
Henry Ford Museum of Automotive History, and a public lecture by Prof. Lawrence
Krauss. The attendees are also welcome to take advantage of the location of
WSU, which is adjacent to most Detroit museums, such as Detroit Institute of
Arts, Detroit Historical Museum, The New Science Museum, and Charles H. Wright
Museum of African-American History.

-Registration and fees:

Details about the conference along with registration forms, abstract
submission, and conference payment information can be found on the conference
web site: Financial support will be available for a
limited number of graduate students and postdocs. After registering for the
conference, please send an e-mail to the organizers if you would like to be
considered for this opportunity.
The conference fee will cover conference materials, welcome reception, coffee
breaks, and conference banquet and excursion. It will not include lunches or

Payment if received before June 15, 2009 is $275.00
Payment if received after June 15, 2009 is $325.00

Additional tickets for the conference banquet can be purchased at the rate of


100 hotel rooms have been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn - Detroit Downtown
Hotel at a significantly discounted rate. In order to take advantage of the
special conference rate of $119/night, the reservations must be made before
July 1st. In addition, a limited number of dormitory suites on WSU campus at
the newly built University Towers have been reserved for conference
participants and guests at the special rate of $49/night for the first night
and $36/night for each subsequent night. Dormitory accommodations must be paid
for online by July 1st. Please consult conference website for details. We
encourage all participants to reserve their accommodations as soon as possible.


Wayne State University is located in the cultural center of Detroit (MI). There
are direct flights to Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) from all major American and
Canadian cities, as well as from several European and Asian cities. The airport
is located about 20 miles from the University. WSU is easily accessible from
all major freeways that pass through Detroit. Taxi is the easiest and
relatively inexpensive way to get from the airport to the University.

-Contact information:

Paul Karchin or Alexey Petrov, DPF-2009 Local Organizing Committee, Department
of Physics and Astronomy, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201. E-mail:

March 27, 2009

Office of Science Allocation of Recovery Act Funds

 The DOE Office of Science has released some details of how
the first $1.2 billion of the $1.6 billion in the Recovery
Act will be allocated.

The press release can be found at:

A detailed breakdown is at:

A fact sheet on how investments in science can generate jobs
and economic recovery is available at:

March 25, 2009

Industry News
      *Scientific publishing faces a sea change*
March 25, 2009

Alexis Madrigal, blogging on /Wired Magazine’s /science webpage,
describes the critical mass reached recently in the open access movement
for scientific, peer-reviewed articles. What the move by MIT’s faculty
means for scientific publishers is uncertain, however. The new model may
well be used by an increasing number of researchers, but authors may
also opt out of open access and obtain the review services the
publishers offer./Madrigal writes:/

Scientific publishing might have just reached a tipping point, thanks to
a new open access policy at MIT.

Following a more limited open-access mandate at Harvard
the legendary school’s faculty voted last week to make all of their
papers available for free on the web, the first university-wide policy
of its sort.

Hal Abelson, who spearheaded the effort, said that these agreements went
beyond providing a repository for papers, they changed the power
dynamics between scientific publishers and researchers.

“What’s important here is that it’s giving the university a formal role
in how publications happen,” Abelson said. “Some of the faculty said,
‘You’re calling this an open-access resolution but actually the way to
think of it is as a collective bargaining agreement.'”

Many scientists and researchers have pushed for open access policies,
but publishers have been reluctant to give up control of the
informational resources they have. Big companies like Wiley John & Sons
<>, The Macmillan
Publishers’ Nature Publishing Group <>, and Reed
Elsevier <> argue that they
provide valuable and expensive peer-review, and that there’s no way to
ensure quality without the subscription fees that they charge libraries
and universities.

But open access advocates say the current scientific publishing paradigm
is broken because publishers control the scientific record, not academics.

“Who actually should be controlling the scholarly record?” Abelson
asked. “Universities have a mission that has something to do with
producing and disseminating knowledge. These publishers, whatever their
good intentions may be, have a mission to make money for their
stockholders. The system is a little out of whack.”

That’s a major reason that Congress approved an open access policy for
National Institutes of Health-funded research. Under the NIH public
access policy <>, papers are made public
twelve months after publication.

The scientific publishing system, which developed long before the
internet, doesn’t allow for scientific information to be accessed freely
like most web content is. This creates data silos within individual
publisher’s journals and prevents the sharing and data mining of
scientific information, open access advocates argue.

Paul Ginsparg, who created the physics pre-print server known as arXiv
<>, summarized the problem back in 2000.

“If we were to start from scratch today to design a quality controlled
distribution system for research findings,” he wrote
“it would likely take a very different form both from the current system
and from the electronic clone it would spawn without more constructive
input from the research community.

Read the rest of Madrigal’s report and see further links here

To track those developments, keep an eye on Dspace
<>, where the MIT papers will soon be published.

March 23, 2009

Visa Problems

Dear Colleagues,

Recently we have received a number of cases of scientists from abroad,
or non-citizen US residents needing to return to the US, who are unable to
get their visas in a reasonable time.

DOE is interested in these cases, as is the US LUO Executive Committee,
and the APS Office of International Affairs.

If you have such cases please notify Elizabeth O’Malley at the Office of
elizabeth.o’  , as well as myself.

Best regards

From: Thornock, Mark
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 7:44 AM
To: Brian Hitson; Dave Rosine; Dick Diem; Howard Filler; Jim Suess; John Scott; Johnny Moore; Mark Foster; Michelle Branton; Mike Epps; Pauline Douglas; Rick Korynta; Rodney Royster; Solita Greene; Tom Gradle; Yvonne Washington; Bill Flaherty; Bill Webster; Bruce Chrisman; Cameron Andersen; Craig Samtmann; Dan Lunsford; Dave Baldwin; Dave Carlson; Dave Metta; David Bellis; Doug Kreitz; Ed Mickulas; John; John Burleson; John Watson; Kim Engle; Kris Burrows; Larry Collins; Lenny Butera; Mark Murphy; Mark Sakitt; Ron Smith; Sheila Holbert; Simon Ovrahim; Susan Budden; Tom Amidon; Tom Wessels
Cc: O’Malley, Elizabeth; Binkley, Steve; Goodwin, Dave; Gonzalez, Saul; Strauss, Bruce; Polansky, Walt; Warnick, Walter; Rivera, Kensley; Riches, Mike; Drell, Daniel; Goodwin, Karl; Saunders, Paul; Whitworth, Amy; Freeburn, Don; Houghton, John; Horwitz, James
Subject: Visa Challenges ?
Importance: High

“If” you have any Major examples of Visa issues and subsequent delays to our research, collaborations, etc.; feel free to send examples directly to SC Ms. Elizabeth O’Malley.  I have CC Liz above.

Thank you.

Mark Thornock

March 21, 2009

The Great Beyond: Former Caltech provost tapped for DOE science post

March 21, 2009

From Bill Foster – Your Ideas and Concerns

Dear Friend,

Thank you. I am amazed and overwhelmed at the number of thoughtful comments you sent me in response to an earlier email where I asked you to share with me what issues you wanted me to address in Congress. The response was more than I could have ever imagined.

My campaign received hundreds of emails and what impressed me most was the time you took in responding to my question. Many emails included specific proposals that I can take directly to my colleagues. Because of you, we have created a virtual “think tank” and
with your insight and expertise, I am even better prepared to take on some of the most difficult problems we face as Americans.

The concerns you raised align with my own as the issues you most wanted me to address include – improving the economy, increasing science funding and reforming health care. But there were many more issues that must be taken on like reducing the threat of nuclear weapons, restoring civil liberties and the Constitution and ending the War in Iraq.

Let me be clear – I intend to work on all of these issues.

These are the issues we care about and that must be addressed if we are going to truly bring change to Washington and the rest of

Because we feel so strongly about these and other issues, I’d like to share with you excerpts from some of the emails I received.

“We need more Congressional champions for science. But, not just in principle or in the abstract. What’s missing is someone who
understands the intricacies and importance of the academic scientific program in the U.S.”

“Build a honest, competent, transparent government. The government has been so corrupted and politicized that it cannot function for the people until the old way of governing and these people are cleared out.”

“I too am so happy that we finally have a leader who considers the needs of everyday Americans rather than enriching the top wage earners. I have a fairly long list of things I am watching but my biggest concern, particularly over the last few days, is how many roadblocks the Republicans are
throwing up to thwart President Obama’s progress in rolling back the disaster policies of the Bush Administration. I can’t believe they are
singing the song of fiscal responsibility after allowing an open checkbook without oversight during the last 8 years! The hypocrisy is

“The change that is needed is in Kendall County. There is no public transportation in this county.”

“Tax and manpower policies must work together to rebuild the middle class. The growing and historically extreme economic inequality that Bush policies caused must be reversed. Otherwise the social fabric of the nation is in jeopardy.”

“Thanks for soliciting my input. I’m a member of the Letter Carriers Union and have met you with several times. Dennis Hastert never asked what I thought, and when I told him, I would get a letter back saying that George Bush has the right plan, and we’re going to implement

“I would suggest serious investments in 21st Century infrastructure – physical and human. This implies e.g. transport systems (vehicles, energy
supply, and routes) that remove our oil dependence – not just more roads – as well as major investments in education, long term scientific research, R and D credits for business.”

“Restore the Constitution and a reasonable balance of power between the three branches of the federal government. Civil liberties must be fully restored, sooner rather than later.”

“Every scientific research group on every university campus in the nation is “shovel ready.” We’ll hire more graduate students, hire more
undergraduate students, hire more post docs, and seed the economy with uniquely qualified young scientists ready to help turn the nation’s economy

“As a parent, I want my daughters to have good public schools (and I believe public education should be good enough for anyone’s children) and affordable, excellent universities. I want my daughters to take part in research, explore new boundaries, and not have to expect a lower level of learning than I had. I involve undergraduate and graduate students (and sometimes high school teachers and students) in our research at CERN and Jlab. I can witness the impact it has on their minds, at 18 or 58 years old.”

“George W. Bush left us with such a mess that I could write for weeks.”

Like the last respondent we quoted, I too could write for weeks based on the tremendous input I received.

Thank you for your suggestions, and please keep them coming.

Sincerely yours,

March 19, 2009

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 32: March 19, 2009
Web version:

NSF, Other Science Agencies Describe Intentions for Stimulus Funding

The National Science Foundation has released a three-page document
providing an overview of how it will utilize the $3.0 billion it
received in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Under this
legislation, the funding is distributed as follows:

Research and Related Activities: $2.5 billion
Education and Human Resources: $100 million
Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction: $400 million

As previously reviewed in FYI #16 (see the Joint Explanatory
Statement accompanying the bill included the following language
specifying how this funding is to be applied within each of the
three budget categories:


“For research and related activities, the conference agreement
provides a total of $2,500,000,000, to remain available until
September 30, 2010. Within this amount, $300,000,000 shall be
available solely for the major research instrumentation program and
$200,000,000 shall be available for activities authorized by title
II of Public Law 100-570 for academic facilities modernization. In
allocating the resources provided under this heading, the conferees
direct that NSF support all research divisions and support
advancements in supercomputing technology.”

“The conference agreement includes $100,000,000 for education and
human resources, to remain available until September 30, 2010. These
funds shall be allocated as follows:
Robert Noyce Scholarship Program: $60,000,000
Math and Science Partnerships: $25,000,000
Professional Science Master’s Programs: $15,000,000″

“The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for major research
equipment and facilities construction, to remain available until
September 30, 2010.”

$2.0 million was also provided to the NSF Office of Inspector

National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement has just released
“Important Notice to Presidents of Universities and Colleges and
Heads of Other National Science Foundation Awardee Organizations”
providing further details about how the foundation will use this
funding.  Director Bement explains:

“NSF currently has many highly rated proposals that it has not been
able to fund. For this reason,  NSF is planning to use the majority
of the $2 billion available in Research and Related Activities for
proposals that are already in house and will be reviewed and/or
awarded prior to September 30, 2009.

“The Foundation also expects to expeditiously award funds as
specified in the Recovery Act for: the Math and Science Partnership
program (funded at $25 million); the Robert Noyce Teacher
Scholarship Program (funded at $60 million); the Major Research
Equipment and Facilities Construction Account (funded at $400
million); the Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program (funded
at $200 million); and the Science Masters program, (funded at $15
million). Solicitations for these latter two programs will be posted
this spring.

“NSF will post a solicitation this spring for the Major Research
Instrumentation Program (MRI) in order to make a sufficient number
of awards to utilize the $300 million provided in the legislation.
The Foundation currently anticipates that no other solicitations
will be posted that are solely in response to the Recovery Act.”

The notice has additional important information under “Funding
Prioritization.”  The notice can be read in full at

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a
website with similar information at
Other departments and agencies receiving stimulus funding provide
similar information, some of which is still under development, and
which can be viewed at under “Agency Progress and

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
The American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3095

March 19, 2009

Subject  Public transport offer for people arriving by air in Geneva International Airport

Dear CERN User,

Please note the public transport offer starting from 1 January 2008 for
people arriving by air in Geneva International Airport:

Please also note, if you are not already aware, that public transport to
CERN changed on December 9th, the number 9 bus no longer goes to CERN.

The CERN Users’ Office has more details on how to reach CERN by public transport as well.

March 18, 2009

NSF Director’s Statement on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

March 18, 2009

AAAS Policy Alert — March 18, 2009
Budget News

Nearly six months into the fiscal year, on March 10, Congress gave final
approval to the FY 2009 omnibus bill combining nine unfinished
appropriations bills. President Obama signed it into law the next day.
The Democratic Congress’s decision to delay completing 2009
appropriations until after the election appears to have paid off,
allowing the new 111th Congress to provide additional domestic
discretionary funds including R&D. Included in the $410 billion omnibus
bill is $151.1 billion in federal R&D, an increase of $6.8 billion or
4.7 percent above the FY 2008 estimate. As a result, every major R&D
funding agency would receive an increase greater than expected
inflation, and in many cases the final FY 2009 numbers are larger than
the budget request submitted by the previous administration to the 110th
Congress. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of
Energy’s Office of Science (DOE OS), Commerce’s National Institute of
Standards and Technology laboratories (NIST) – agencies slated for
doubling as part of the America COMPETES Act – would receive substantial
increases in their respective R&D portfolios. NSF R&D would increase 8.2
percent to $4.8 billion; DOE OS, 17.3 percent to $4.3 billion; and NIST,
7.5 percent to $561 million for R&D. The National Institutes of Health
(NIH) would receive a 3.2 percent increase. Note that these numbers do
not include stimulus funding.

As for FY 2010, House and Senate leaders say they want to adopt their
respective budget resolutions before the spring recess, which begins
April 4. That means the Budget Committees will likely mark up their
blueprints the week of March 23. This would take place before the
Congress has received the detailed FY 2010 proposed budget from the
Administration, scheduled for release in late April. The President
released a general “outline” of his FY 2010 budget proposals on February 26.

Other Congressional News

Holdren-Lubchenco Nominations Clear Senate Committee. The nominations of
John Holdren to be Director of the White House Office of Science and
Technology Policy (OSTP) and Jane Lubchenco to be Under-Secretary of
Commerce and Administrator of NOAA, which had been on hold for nearly a
month (Policy Alert, 3/9/09), were reported favorably out of the Senate
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last week. The timing of
Senate floor action is uncertain.

March 18, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Here is UNOFFICIAL information gathered by US CMS CB Chair Nick Hadley
and forwarded with his and DOE’s permission. Further, specific
information will
come from DOE soon.

Thanks to Nick for this.
Best regards

[From Nick]

Stimulus funding derives from the stimulus bill and
supplemental funding comes from the regular 2009 DOE funding bill
which was passed only last week. The stimulus funding is
expected to have a larger than normal amount of
oversight. No agency wants to be featured in the news as have
wasted funding on unneeded projects (or ones that merely appear

Here’s what I have heard from the DOE. I’m still trying
to get information from the NSF. The bottom line is to get your
requests ready.

  “Our office is still formalizing the details before putting out a
   call for both supplements and stimulus requests.  (We) expect the
   university PIs will be notified within a week or so.

   Due to the way stimulus money needs to be tracked, we are planning
   to separate requests for infrastructure (equipment, computing,
   collaborative tools) and personnel/travel.  The former will be
   one-time requests with stimulus grants, and the latter will be
   through supplements.  The exact language may change, but you should
   prepare your proposals (short, but precise) based on the above
   distribution, and be ready to submit them quickly once you receive
   notice.  All stimulus requests will be peer-reviewed by a panel.”

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have questions or more


March 13, 2009

(Thanks to Toyoko Orimoto for these pointers).
Best regards

The talks from Moriond can be found here:

Interactions News Wire #14-09
13 March 2009
Source: Fermilab
Content: Press Release
Date Issued: 13 March 2009

Fermilab experiments constrain Higgs mass

CDF, DZero experiments exclude significant fraction of Higgs territory

Batavia, Ill.–The territory where the Higgs boson may be found continues
to shrink. The latest analysis of data from the CDF and DZero collider
experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab now excludes a
significant fraction of the allowed Higgs mass range established by
earlier measurements. Those experiments predict that the Higgs particle
should have a mass between 114 and 185 GeV/c^2. Now the CDF and DZero
results carve out a section in the middle of this range and establish that
it cannot have a mass in between 160 and 170 GeV/c^2.

“The outstanding performance of the Tevatron and CDF and DZero together
have produced this important result,” said Dennis Kovar, Associate
Director of the Office of Science for High Energy Physics at the U.S.
Department of Energy.  “We’re looking forward to further Tevatron
constraints on the Higgs mass.”

The Higgs particle is a keystone in the theoretical framework known as the
Standard Model of particles and their interactions. According to the
Standard Model, the Higgs boson explains why some elementary particles
have mass and others do not.

So far, the Higgs particle has eluded direct detection. Searches at the
Large Electron Positron collider at the European laboratory CERN
established that the Higgs boson must weigh more than 114 GeV/c^2.
Calculations of quantum effects involving the Higgs boson require its mass
to be less than 185 GeV/c^2.

“A cornerstone of NSF’s support of particle physics is the search for the
origin of mass, and this result takes us one step closer,” said Physics
Division Director Joe Dehmer, of the National Science Foundation.

The observation of the Higgs particle is also one of the goals of the
Large Hadron Collider experiments at CERN, which plans to record its first
collision data before the end of this year.

The success of probing the Higgs territory at the Tevatron has been
possible thanks to the excellent performance of the accelerator and the
continuing improvements that the experimenters incorporate into the
analysis of the collider data.

“Fermilab’s Tevatron collider typically produces about ten million
collisions per second,” said DZero co-spokesperson Darien Wood, of
Northeastern University. “The Standard Model predicts how many times a
year we should expect to see the Higgs boson in our detector, and how
often we should see particle signals that can mimic a Higgs. By refining
our analysis techniques and by collecting more and more data, the true
Higgs signal, if it exists, will sooner or later emerge.”

To increase their chances of finding the Higgs boson, the CDF and DZero
scientists combine the results from their separate analyses, effectively
doubling the data available.

“A particle collision at the Tevatron collider can produce a Higgs boson
in many different ways, and the Higgs particle can then decay into various
particles,” said CDF co-spokesperson Rob Roser, of Fermilab. “Each
experiment examines more and more possibilities. Combining all of them, we
hope to see a first hint of the Higgs particle.”

So far, CDF and DZero each have analyzed about three inverse femtobarns of
collision data—the scientific unit that scientists use to count the
number of collisions. Each experiment expects to receive a total of about
10 inverse femtobarns by the end of 2010, thanks to the superb performance
of the Tevatron. The collider continues to set numerous performance
records, increasing the number of proton-antiproton collisions it

The Higgs search result is among approximately 70 results that the CDF and
DZero collaborations presented at the annual conference on Electroweak
Physics and Unified Theories known as the Rencontres de Moriond, held
March 7-14. In the past year, the two experiments have produced nearly 100
publications and about 50 Ph.D.s that have advanced particle physics at
the energy frontier.

Media Contacts:
Judy Jackson, Fermilab, +1-630-840-3351,
Kurt Riesselmann, Fermilab, +1-630-840-3351,

For additional media contacts of the worldwide InterAction collaboration
go to:

Graphics, photos and videos are available at:

Notes for editors:
Fermilab, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator
Laboratory located near Chicago, operates the Tevatron, the world’s
highest-energy particle collider. The Fermi Research Alliance LLC operates
Fermilab under a contract with DOE.

CDF is an international experiment of 602 physicists from 63 institutions
in 15 countries. DZero is an international experiment conducted by 550
physicists from 90 institutions in 18 countries. Funding for the CDF and
DZero experiments comes from DOE’s Office of Science, the National Science
Foundation, and a number of international funding agencies.

CDF collaborating institutions are at

DZero collaborating institutions are at

March 10, 2009

Obama gets omnibus and earmark fight
By: David Rogers
March 10, 2009 07:22 PM EST

A $409.6 billion omnibus appropriations bill cleared Congress Tuesday even as the White House pursued new steps to try to pare back the level of parochial spending projects attached to the budget each year.

President Barack Obama is poised to sign the measure into law quickly to avoid any disruption of government operations. But Democrats anticipate that he may use the occasion Wednesday to outline new earmark reforms and answer Republican critics led by his old rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

The decisive Senate vote came on a 62-35 roll call in which Democrats finally reached the 60-vote super majority threshold that had eluded them only last week. Eight Republicans joined in the motion to cut off debate, allowing Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to succeed even with three of his own Democrats defecting.

A Treasury letter related to Cuba travel provisions in the bill proved pivotal as well in winning over needed votes. But just to get to the final cloture roll call, Reid had to first beat back a series a series of politically punishing Republican amendments, many designed to delay enactment by forcing further consideration in the House.

The most dangerous was offered by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) requiring the House and Senate to vote on any future cost-of-living increases for lawmakers rather than allow the pay adjustment to take effect automatically. Given the collapsing economy, Democrats are already committed to canceling any pay adjustment for next year as part of the omnibus bill. And Reid offered a stand-alone bill to accomplish the same result Vitter wanted without entangling the omnibus in the fight.

The Louisianan argued that Democrats were only seeking political cover, and he forced an up-and-down vote on his proposal alone. It was narrowly tabled by a vote of 52-45, setting up the votes on cloture and passage.

Five months late already, the giant measure is really nine bills in one, covering more than 12 Cabinet-level departments and agencies that represent the heart of the domestic budget this year as well as U.S. contributions to global health and foreign aid programs overseas.

The total cost represents a nearly $20 billion increase over the former Bush administration’s spending requests for the fiscal year that began last October. Rather than engage in veto fights last fall, Democrats opted to postpone action until Obama took power in January.

Major increases include new money for food and consumer product safety agencies as well as Wall Street regulators and tax enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is promised $550 million more for its operations, and an additional $76.5 million is provided for U.S. attorneys to forestall threatened furloughs. IRS spending for tax enforcement is increased to $5.1 billion, a $337 million increase over last year’s level.

Significant new money is provided for education and science initiatives, including a $309 million increase for weather and climate satellites and $754 million for the Energy Department’s Office of Science. From clean water to transit and highway spending, the measure builds on the landmark public works investments already made in the recently enacted economic stimulus bill.

Beyond appropriations, the bill’s 1,132 pages carry with them legislative provisions touching on an array of issues. State attorneys general are given new powers to pursue truth-in-lending cases. The bill terminates an 18-month pilot program to allow Mexican-licensed trucks to compete for long-haul routes in the United States. And down to the last hours, a set of Cuba travel provisions required the Treasury Department to step in to ease differences among Democrats that threatened passage.

The Mexico truck program began in September 2007 as a way for the United States to meet its commitment under NAFTA to allow freer trucking operations on both sides of the border. But it has faced persistent opposition in Congress, and a recent Transportation Department report found that only 29 of 100 projected Mexican carriers were admitted to the project, and this “level of participation is not adequate to yield statistically valid findings.”

The Cuba travel provisions most directly pit two former House Democratic colleagues, New York Rep. Jose Serrano and now Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, against one another. At issue are Bush-era restrictions on Cuba-Americans visiting relatives in Cuba as well as persons traveling for the purpose of arranging commercial sales of agriculture or medical goods allowed under US sanctions.

Serrano, who oversees Treasury’s budget on the House Appropriations Committee, favors a more liberalized approach and has predicted Obama will as well. But in a letter dated Monday to Menendez, Secy. Timothy Geithner pledged that any such business missions would be narrowly prescribed, require full reporting and be subject to a per diem expenditure cap.

That helped get the New Jersey Democrat’s vote, but it could be a short-lived truce. In a press release immediately after passage, Serrano warned the bill is “not subject to creative interpretation” and has “the force of law.”

Thus to describe the giant measure as routine — as some have — doesn’t really do it justice. But this is scarcely the first time that Congress has resorted to such a catch-all omnibus to wrap up the budget business for an entire year.

The situation is very similar to early 2003, when Republicans and the Bush administration pushed through a nearly $400 billion package after the budget process had collapsed amid partisan fighting the prior year. Filling almost 1,160 pages, that measure was even more complex, including Medicare and farm-disaster spending as well as appropriations. But it moved through the Senate in about six days, and after a quick conference with the House it was signed by Bush.

Looking back, the 2003 debate was much more substantive and focused on major accounts within the bill, rather than on the spending earmarks. By comparison, the current measure devotes substantially less money to earmarks, but that issue has come to dominate the politics so much that it has dwarfed most other issues in the six days of debate.

Caught most in the middle are those Republicans historically allied with the Appropriations committees and with their own stake in earmarks for their home states. Sen. Arlen Specter is such a case. Yet as a senior member of the once-proud panel, he was very cautious even Tuesday about committing himself to the bill.

Back home, he faces a potential challenge from the right in next year’s Republican primary, and supporting even his old committee can be politically dangerous. Taxpayers for Common Sense lists about $25.3 million in earmarks requested by Specter alone in the bill, but when asked Tuesday afternoon about his vote, the Pennsylvania Republican was still hesitant.

“I want to see what the lineup is before I decide,” he told POLITICO.

Hours late, Specter did, joining seven other Republicans in support of the bill: Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker; Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby; Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander; Missouri Sen. Kit Bond; Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The three Democrats opposing were:Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

March 9, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

This is an initiative led by Internet2, National Lambda Rail
and many others. See the enclosed White Paper.

The “data intensive light paths” and advances in institutional
infrastructure proposed would be of great benefit to the
US LHC and other programs in the coming years.

In light of this initiative, and associated discussions, as
well as the plans for Internet2 to support dynamic circuits
in support of science, it may be useful for US LHC teams
to consider attending the next Internet2 meeting.

Rich Carlson of Internet2 is also running a session on Tier3
experience and needs (Tier2s also can be discussed)

organized by the High Energy and Nuclear Physics
Special Interest Group.

Best regards

White Paper

March 5, 2009
Message to members of the American Physical Society’s
Forum on Physics and Society, authorized by
Pushpa Bhat, Secretary/Treasurer
Dear FPS members:

The Forum on Physics and Society has the opportunity to
nominate candidates to Fellowship in the APS. All
candidates for APS Fellowship should have demonstrated
outstanding contributions to physics and the advancement of
societal and public policy issues connected to physics. It
is important that such contributions beyond routine
scientific collaborations be well documented in the
nominating materials. This is a great opportunity to
recognize your colleagues who are devoted to the advancement
of physics and society.
Any member of FPS can submit a nomination and, therefore, we
urge you to nominate fellow physicists of any nationality
who fit this profile.

Instructions for nominations can be found at:

At that Web site, one can also find descriptions of past APS
Fellows nominated by FPS.


Best regards,

FPS Nominations Committee
Charles Ferguson
Don Prosnitz
Allen Sessoms
Dean Wilkening

March 4, 2009

On page 11 of the DOE “Statistical Table” at

Here is the breakdown of the foreseen allocations for high energy
physics, by program.

High energy physics FY07 FY08 FY09 FY09 – FY08
Proton accelerator-based physics….343,633 368,825 419,577 +50,752 +13.8%
Electron accelerator-based physics..101,284 65,594 48,772 -16,822 -25.6%
Non-accelerator physics………… 60,655 74,199 86,482 +12,283 +16.6%
Theoretical physics……………. 59,955 60,234 63,036 +2,802 +4.7%
Advanced technology R&D………… 66,907 120,479 187,093 +66,614 +55.3%

Total, High energy physics……… 732,434 689,331 804,960 +115,629 +16.8%

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: National Labs in the FY2009 Budget Request
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 16:21:56 -0800
From: Graf, Norman <>
To: lcd-l <>

Dear Colleagues,
The DOE has released a preliminary version of the
breakdown by National Lab of its FY2009 Congressional
Budget Request.

Here are some examples (Dollars in thousands):

Page Laboratory / Facility Index FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009
Appropriation Appropriation Request

4 Argonne National Lab(East) $ 389,927 $ 380,996 $ 418,095

12 Brookhaven National Laboratory $ 445,845 $ 462,955 $ 520,861

22 Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory $ 347,734 $ 321,397 $ 379,097

42 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory $ 431,697 $ 453,070 $ 483,829

45 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory $1,288,982 $1,163,027 $1,100,799

50 Los Alamos National Laboratory $1,800,324 $1,852,802 $1,838,300

76 Oak Ridge National Laboratory $ 932,505 $ 888,159 $1,066,091

86 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory $ 361,151 $ 405,510 $ 409,444

104 Sandia National Laboratories $1,496,659 $1,403,546 $1,428,868

113 Savannah River Site $1,441,092 $1,379,217 $1,479,309

120 Stanford Linear Accelerator Center $ 359,574 $ 291,121 $ 318,897

Note: View this table in plain-text email to see correct formatting.

Full details are available at:

Please note the caveat listed on the title page, viz.

The numbers depicted in this document represent the gross
level of DOE budget authority for the years displayed. The
figures include both the discretionary and mandatory funding
in the budget. They do not consider revenues/receipts, use
of prior year balances, deferrals, rescissions, or other
adjustments appropriated as offsets to the DOE appropriations
by the Congress.

Norman Graf

*AAAS Policy Alert — March 4, 2009

*Budget News *

FY 2009 Budget Update. Last week the House approved by a vote of 245-178 the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus appropriations bill that would wrap up the 2009 budget for federal agencies operating since last October under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on Friday, March 6. Included in the omnibus bill is $151.1 billion in federal research and development (R&D), an increase of $6.8 billion or 4.7 percent above the FY 2008 estimate. The Senate will take up the House bill (H.R. 1105) this week, and depending upon the amendments that are allowed on the Senate floor, final appropriations may be ready for the President’s signature by the March 6 deadline. As reported in last week’s Policy Alert, the omnibus package would include important increases for R&D (separate from the stimulus funds) resulting in a total of $30.3 billion for NIH’s budget; a total of $6.5 billion for NSF of which $5.2 billion would go to Research and Related Activities; $4.8 billion for DOE’s Office of Science; and $17.8 billion for NASA, including $4.5 billion for Science programs. Finally, basic and applied research overall (excluding development) would receive a significant boost, growing 4.3 percent to $60.5 billion and showing an increase for the first time in four years.

FY 2010 Preview. Also last week, the Obama Administration unveiled a budget “outline” for FY 2010 <>. Although the plan specifically aims to reduce deficit spending over the next five years, with an overall goal of halving the federal deficit by 2013, the 2010 budget plan would include room for some increases in science and technology funding. However, detailed proposals are not laid out for all agencies in the budget released by OMB, and the research community must wait until the detailed FY 2010 budget proposal is released at the end of April. It is important to note that the budget outline uses the FY 2008 funding levels as a baseline for comparing the FY 2010 outlook since the FY 2009 budget is yet to be completed. That said, the overall increase would be largest at EPA, which would receive a total of $10.5 billion, a $3 billion increase above its FY 2008 levels. NSF would receive an overall increase of 16 percent over 2008 funding, for a total of $7 billion. NASA’s budget would grow above 2008 levels by $1.4 billion, for a total of $18.7 billion. Language is included in the plan that states the Administration’s intention to double funding for basic research over the next 10 years.