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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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Scandal-Dogged Synchrotron Back on Track
9 March 2011 11:04 am
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--After months of turmoil, the troubled Australian synchrotron is pulling together under new leadership and churning out good science. That's the verdict of the facility's international scientific advisory committee (SAC), which wrapped up a meeting here on 8 March.
The elite facility was plunged into crisis in October 2009 after its managing board ousted Director Robert Lamb for undisclosed reasons. The sacking triggered a 4-month strike and the resignation of five SAC members. The synchrotron returned to full operation in April 2010, but drifted leaderless for months.
On 28 February, the managing board appointed crystallographer Keith Nugent as part-time director and physicist Andrew Peele as science chief. The popular appointments have boosted morale. "It's very clear the synchrotron is now science led," says SAC chair Ted Baker, an x-ray crystallographer at the University of Auckland. The synchrotron, he says, is "doing brilliantly" in terms of generating scientific publications and maintaining high-quality beamlines.
The challenge now, Baker says, is to convince officials in the State of Victoria and the federal government that things are back on track. The synchrotron has no guaranteed funding beyond June 2012, putting plans for more beamlines on hold. "It's critical that the Victorian and Federal governments understand what a jewel they've got," says Baker.