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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Livermore Weapons Laboratory Loses Leader
25 October 2013 3:30 pm
In an unexpected move, Penrose “Parney” Albright has announced that he will stand down as the director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California at the end of this month. Speaking to staff yesterday, Albright, a physicist, said he will continue to pursue other interests in the area of national security.
Albright has had a long career in defense policy and research, including stints at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2003, President George W. Bush named him an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security. He was president of the Civitas Group, a homeland security think tank, before joining LLNL in 2009 as principal associate director for global security. He was promoted to lab director in October 2011.
One of his last acts was a shakeup of the leadership of LLNL’s troubled National Ignition Facility (NIF). NIF is designed to achieve nuclear fusion by crushing capsules of hydrogen fuel with immensely energetic lasers, both for energy research and to help nuclear weapons designers simulate explosions. In September 2012, NIF missed a self-imposed deadline for achieving “ignition”—a self-sustaining fusion burn producing excess energy—and is still some distance from reaching that goal. Since then, the facility has altered focus, putting more emphasis on weapons-related work and acting as a user facility for outside scientists. At the beginning of this month, Albright moved NIF Director Ed Moses to a new role investigating the wider applications of fusion and Moses was replaced on an interim basis by one of his deputies, Jeff Wisoff.
Albright’s job will be temporarily filled by mechanical engineer Bret Knapp, a LLNL veteran who is now principal associate director for weapons programs at the rival Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.