I am a post-doctoral researcher at the University of
Maryland. As a graduate student I worked on accelerator-based experiments at
both Jefferson Lab in Virginia and SLAC. Currently, I am based at SLAC working
on the Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) which is an experiment to study
neutrinoless double beta decay and is located in the underground facility, WIPP,
in New Mexico.
This is certainly a time of change and great opportunity for many of us at SLAC as we shift from having a local accelerator-based experiment as a focus of our particle physics community to one that utilizes the cosmic accelerators, the world's newest and largest man-made accelerator, and underground laboratories. This is a unique time in our field as the particle physics and astrophysics communities come together in our search for knowledge. The SLAC User's Organization (SLUO) must serve the growing need of our community as we become more diverse in the types of experiments and theoretical approaches we pursue.
As a member of the SLUO Executive Committee, I would work to promote SLAC's scientific research goals with outreach to our government. This is a crucial time for scientists and especially the high energy physicists to reach out to the government and our community. I would also work to communicate to SLAC leadership the important role the lab can play to support the SLAC users while their experiments are diverse and may not be centrally located at SLAC. There must be clear communication between the collaborations of SLAC scientists and the lab management to ensure that the users and lab can attain their scientific goals.
The funding and support of high energy physics in the US has been declining, yet we have recently had a boost in funding because of the American Recovery and Reinvestmetn Act (ARRA) and recent increases in the FY09 and FY10 budgets that puts us back on track. It is the long-term investment in science that is truly beneficial to us as scientists and ultimately to society. It is now a more important time than ever for the physics community to reach out to the public to educate them about the importance of our current and future achievements. This can be achieved through SLAC's public lecture series and with public tours of the SLAC Lab.
The outreach to government is imperative. It is wonderful to have an administration that is so engaged in science, and we as scientists have to show our appreciation and pass along our excitement to the rest of our government officials locally and nationally. The physics community must be able to communicate to the administration the achievements, needs, and role the physical sciences play in the future of the United States. I was able to participate in the 2007 and 2008 SLUO trips to Washington, DC in order to talk about the accomplishments and future goals of science to our legislators. It was an enlightening and challenging experience. The dialogue between scientists and their elected officials is necessary in order to continue the support of the physical sciences in the US. This support comes about because of our ability to communicate the excitement, interest, and benefits that come from the research we do as physicists.
If elected, I would promote more active communication between SLAC and the PPA users during this transition time at SLAC and help to promote the science efforts at SLAC through outreach to our local community by continuing the public lecture series program and increased public tours. I would also promote support for the physical sciences by the US government by continuing to communicate the importance of science to Congress not only in times of urgency, but at all times, through letter writing and travel to our elected officials' offices in Washington, DC.