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Four MIT professors and a life member of the MIT Corporation are members of a task force convened last month by the US Secretary of Energy to examine the future of the Department of Energy national laboratories.
"With the end of the Cold War and growing concerns about global economic competition, now is the time to plan how the department's laboratories can best help meet the energy, environmental, economic, scientific and defense needs of the future," said Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary in announcing formation of the task force.
MIT members of the task force are: Henry W. Kendall, the J.A. Stratton Professor of Physics; Richard K. Lester, professor of nuclear engineering and director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center; Edward B. Roberts, David Sarnoff Professor of the Management of Technology; Harvey M. Sapolsky, a professor of political science and director of the Defense and Arms Control Studies Program, and Shirley A. Jackson, a life member of the MIT Corporation and a professor of physics at Rutgers University.
Secretary O'Leary charged the 21-member task force with "examining options for change within the laboratories and proposing. alternative scenarios for future use of the labs," according to a DOE release. "Among the scenarios, the task force will address options involving the possible redirection, restructuring and/or closure of parts of the DOE laboratory system."
A report by the task force is due in February 1995.
DOE's laboratory system includes nine large, multi-program laboratories. They are: Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. The task force will also review the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and has the option of studying the department's other single-program laboratories if desired.
A version of this article appeared in the March 30, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 27).