My name is Michael Peskin. I am a Professor in the Theoretical Physics Group at SLAC. I have been a staff member at the laboratory since 1982. I am running for re-election to the SLUO executive committee.
Three years ago, when I stood for election for the first time, I wrote:
"This is a time of change both for SLAC and for the broader high-energy physics community. In the next few years, we will see the last data-taking from the major collider experiments at SLAC and Fermilab. With the beginning of the LHC era, the community is moving toward the ultimate consolidation, a single accelerator program involving experiments with thousands of collaborators, distributed over the globe. This is apparently the route that we must travel to discover the new fundamental particles that our theories require, the particles of supersymmetry, extra dimensions, and dark matter. But it is quite unclear how an individual university physicist can follow this path and make contributions.
I feel that each National Laboratory must assist the members of its traditional community to work in this new environment, by providing resources and expertise and by providing a nucleus around which local working groups can form. SLAC and SLUO need to work together over that the next few years to formulate a model that will bring the greatest benefit to the members of our community. Some benefits will require physical presence at the lab, but others can come from SLAC providing a network and organization. I would like to be a part of the process of finding these solutions."
These statements are still correct. I would like to say that we have made great strides in addressing these problems, but in fact progress has been slow, the entropic forces are great, and the lab management has shown relatively little interest in retaining SLAC's role as a force in particle physics and astrophysics. Nevertheless, we have made some progress, in particular, in making SLUO more effective for members of ATLAS in the West Coast region, in bringing the broad SLAC community together at interesting SLUO annual meetings, and in taking first steps toward fundamentally restructuring SLUO for the new era.
There is still much to do. SLUO and, more generally, an attachment to SLAC can be useful and effective for university physicists in global collaborations such as ATLAS, Fermi, and LSST. SLUO should also be assisting university physicists to work at SLAC develop new accelerator technologies that we will need further down the road. I remain eager to work on the problems that SLUO faces in this era of change.