Either today or tomorrow, depending on your time-zone, there's a showdown at the Australian Synchrotron from which Director Robert Lamb was recently fired. On Friday 4 December, Lamb broke his silence, releasing a statement saying:
I have not been informed in detail or really at all of the reasons for the ending of my secondment to the Australian Synchrotron 5 weeks ago. I don’t know why this would of occurred. It is personally distressing but I am very concerned about the smooth operation of our Australian Synchrotron. We were running at 1% below budget in the past year, have raised in conjunction with the science community almost $ 55 million in 2009 alone and are successfully meeting the research needs of both the national and international science community. I am at a loss and until I am enlightened I am unable to usefully comment further. I appreciate the support of the scientific community and the overwhelming support of other groups that have contacted me. Most recently I accepted an invitation from the Asian Synchrotron Science community to be their guest at the annual Asia Synchrotron meeting held in Shanghai this past week.I know the University of Melbourne has demanded an explanation from the Board but it is several weeks overdue.
The Sunday Age in Australia also reported that the Universiry of Melbourne, and Lamb, were considering suing the research center.
Update: A spokesperson from the University of Melbourned says it is not planning to sue the Australian Synchrotron board. It is "seeking information from the Synchrotron board to help get an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the termination of Professor Lamb's secondment."