Friday, 26 October 1990 Washington, DC
1. MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT SUPERCOLLIDER PROJECT STIR SPECULATION.
Citing "key milestones" reached in the past 18 months, SSC lab
director Roy Schwitters announced several top-level appointments
and reassignments in preparation for the start of construction in
the spring. It particular, Edward Siskin has been named to the
newly-created position of SSC General Manager, responsible for
directing the entire design, construction and acquisition of the
accelerator. Siskin is former executive director of Stone &
Webster Engineering and, before that, a field manager in the
AEC's Naval Reactor Division, where he reported to Admiral Hyman
Rickover and worked with James Watkins, now Secretary of Energy.
Deputy Energy Secretary Henson Moore congratulated Schwitters on
the wisdom of the appointment, but a source inside DOE said it
was made under pressure. Announcement was made also that General
Dynamics and Westinghouse have been selected to initiate high-
volume manufacture of the superconducting accelerator magnets.
2. THE WHEREABOUTS OF STANLEY PONS IS THE LAST REMAINING MYSTERY
in the bizarre saga of cold fusion. The Fusion Advisory Board,
which oversees Utah's $5M investment in cold fusion, was to
review progress of the National Cold Fusion Laboratory yester-
day. Alas, the increasingly reclusive superstar was nowhere to
be found. News reports say his phone has been disconnected and
his house is up for sale. A colleague is teaching his classes.
3. RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION CHARGED BY CREATIONIST SCIENCE WRITER
in a dispute with Scientific American. Forrest Mims III, a writer
who hoped to take over the magazine's Amateur Scientist column,
was rejected after the editor, Jonathan Piel, discovered Mims is
a creationist. Piel was apparently concerned about the magazine's
image. Press accounts state that the writer recorded the
interview and has it on tape. Mims is quoted in the accounts as
having volunteered to be the magazine's "token" Christian.
4. THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY MUST DO MORE TO HELP AMERICAN INDUSTRY
become competitive, according the Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) who
spoke to the annual AIP Corporate Associates meeting at Sandia
Labs in Albuquerque. Trapped in Washington by the budget debate,
Domenici spoke by phone link. The Technology Transfer Act of 1989
made tech transfer a DOE responsibility, and the role of national
labs was a theme of the meeting.
5. FIVE-YEAR BUDGET DEAL CAPS GROWTH IN DISCRETIONARY SPENDING.
The agreement assumed annual growth of five to seven percent, but
in its FY 91 NASA appropriation, Congress directs NASA to revise
the space station design for a maximum annual growth of 10%. That
could squeeze NSF which, together with NASA, accounts for most of
the discretionary spending in the 302b allocation. NASA was told
to consider an "incremental approach" to the space station.