Our online annual event has concluded, thank you to all the informed and brilliant scientists from the User Facility network who gathered to share ideas, learn, ask questions and be appreciated for all their incredible work!
Topics ranged from nanotechnologies to vaccine development to fusion energy to Department of Energy priorities, science advocacy strategies, diversity issues in laboratories, and much more.
We are sincerely grateful to all our speakers and presenters, your insights and details have prompted further discussions for SSURF activities and other connections between User Facilities and stakeholders. Thank you!!
See below the agenda, speaker and panel descriptions below for the 2023 Society for Science at User Research Facilities Annual Meeting.
We will be adding the recordings of each session soon.
Lily Troia, Chair of the Board for the Society for Science at User Facilities (SSURF) provided highlights of SSURF’s activities and the outlook for the year ahead.
Lily was introduced by Executive Director Dan Powers who gave a brief outline of the day’s agenda. (See Dan’s other presentation on SSURF activities in a separate video.)
Keynote: Branden Brough is the Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO). He provided insight on the crucial research being conducted at hundreds of organizations across the country that advance science and technology at the nanoscale including user facilities, and the opportunities for further cooperation between these entities in an effort to maximize our Nation’s nanoscale innovation and commercialization goals.
Dan Powers, Executive Director, SSURF . Dan will highlight SSURF’s advocacy activities and programs. Additional Board member updates to be announced.
Panelists Natalie Holder and Linda Isakson spoke with moderator Dr. Mamie Parker about several programs at their national laboratory facilities to increase engagement across communities to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. They discussed what these words mean, how goals were determined and assessment methodologies.
Natalie Holder is the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer of the Stanford National Accelerator Lab (SLAC). She is a strategic architect of organizational cultural change management that has moved the diversity, equity and inclusion needle in high-profile work environments and she uses her employment law background to strategize the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) infrastructure for organizations.
She described how they built the SLAC DEI+ team and the structure and goals of their DEI Leadership Journey for upper management, how systemic racism may look and creating a diversity of thought and participation among various labs. See more about Natalie at https://inclusion.slac.stanford.edu/a…
Linda Isakson is the Communications Manager for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) who will discuss their double blind proposal process which has resulted in significant increases in awards to female and minority applicants. She discussed their double blind proposal process which has resulted in significant increases in awards to female and minority applicants. See the video from EMSL on Understanding the Double Blind Peer Review Process at https://youtu.be/Ga6irL1ZQQg?si=ap293… and more info at https://www.emsl.pnnl.gov/user-program
Dr. Mamie Parker moderated the panel; she a professional fish and wildlife biologist, success coach and principal consultant at Ecologix Group, Inc. Dr. Parker made history serving as the first African American U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director of the 13 Northeastern states and then as the FWS Chief of Staff, Assistant Director of Habitat Conservation/Head of Fisheries in this country. Known for her public speaking throughout the environmental community, Parker has given commencement addresses and speeches for several organizations. Five women along with Dr. Parker were featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s book “Women, Environmentalism and Justice.” The Coretta Scott King Award winner, Tonya Bolden released her latest book, “Changing the Equation, 50+ US Black Women in STEM, which celebrates Dr. Parker and others that have paved the way for future generations.
Update by Dr. Linda L. Horton, the Associate Director of Science for Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC).
With an annual budget of more than $2 billion, BES is the nation’s leading supporter of fundamental research in materials sciences, chemistry, geosciences, and aspects of biosciences. BES is also a major supporter of scientific user facilities, including the nation’s premier x-ray light sources, neutron scattering facilities, and nanoscale science research centers. These facilities serve over 16,000 users annually, and they provide the tools for the preparation and examination of materials and the study of their physical and chemical properties and transformations.
The Scientific User Facilities (SUF) Division of BES supports the R&D, planning, construction, and operation of scientific user facilities for the development of novel nano-materials and for materials characterization through x-ray, neutron, and electron beam scattering; the former is accomplished through five Nanoscale Science Research Centers and the latter is accomplished through the world’s largest suite of synchrotron radiation light source facilities, neutron scattering facilities, and electron-beam microcharacterization centers. (details)
Ian Wilson, Ph.D. Chair, Hansen Professor of Structural Biology, Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at Scripps Research Institute.
Lecture Title: “Antibody recognition of deadly human pathogens for structure-based vaccine and therapeutic design”
Dr. Wilson has a distinguished and accomplished record of ground-breaking research on infectious diseases, including influenza, COVID-19, HIV, and many others. Research contributions from the WilsonLab have been pivotal for many of the pioneering studies on immune recognition of microbial pathogens, antigen presentation and structure-based design of vaccine and therapies. Dr. Wilson will discuss the crucial role of user facilities and cross-agency collaborations to his team’s work.
Ignition and Beyond: The Inertial Confinement Fusion Program in the United States – presentation by Kevin Fournier, User Office Director for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Kevin provided great insight on the recent successful fusion achievements at the NIF, the scope of
fusion research activities across federal facilities and the outlook for fusion research.
Kevin works closely with the High Energy Density (HED) and inertial confinement fusion (ICF) councils, the Joint National Security Applications Council (JNSAC), the Technical Review Committee for Discovery Science, the NIF User Group, and other organizations and representatives to impact the successful execution of their program experiments on NIF.
Joining Kevin will be Caroline Anderson, Manager for Outreach of the Fusion Industry Association. Caroline will discuss the status of the fusion industry and how relationships with user facilites are shaping future opportunities for growth.
Leland Congliani will provide perspectives on current state of play involving the recent Congressional leadership issues and related political forces impacting the Office of Science and the user community.
Leland leads Lewis-Burke’s energy practice, overseeing all Department of Energy (DOE) issues while also serving as Co-Chair of the Energy Sciences Coalition. With more than 15 years of experience advancing science and technology priorities for research institutions, Leland is a leading voice in the higher education and research advocacy community to advance basic and applied energy research and development programs and is a frequent speaker at science and technology forums.
Diana Bauer is the Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO)- With a focus on User Facility partners and embedded programs, she provided a presentation on the AMMTO describing the spectrum of its advanced manufacturing RD&D and other investments aimed at accelerating the innovation and adoption of cost-effective high performance materials and manufacturing technologies for our energy future and economy-wide decarbonization.
Jennifer is a Board Director of the Society for Science at User Research Facilities, she discussed the advocacy efforts of SSURF and the ways our interactions with elected officials, staff and federal agencies help grow the recognition and support for user facilities.
Jennifer Greenamoyer is a science communications and advocacy consultant. She was most recently the American Institute of Physics’ principal government relations liaison, working to assist AIP’s Member Societies with development and implementation of government relations initiatives.
Dan Powers is the SSURF Executive Director, he’ll wrap up the day with an outlook to 2024 activities along with SSURF Board members providing their comments on next steps for the organization and ways for members to participate and assist with our mission.