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View Diary: Recent DOE Break-Through with Hydrogen Fuel Cells, should make them Affordable (275 comments)

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  •  They are contractors, not public employees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi
    Los Alamos National Laboratory Researchers -- those public employees -- describe the technical benefits of their recent Science discovery ...

    Virtually all of the DOE laboratory system is "GOCO" -- Government Owned, Contractor Operated. All of the researchers who work at the labs are employees of the managing contractor, in this case Los Alamos National Security LLC, NOT the government.

    What this means, among other things, is that the low-level researchers do not enjoy civil service protections and are paid slightly more, while the managers are paid MUCH MUCH MUCH more than if they were public employees.

    It also means that the real government, DOE, is not obliged to fund research projects, and can indeed yank the money from any group at any time. Thus everything tends to turn into a giant sales pitch, complete often outrageous marketing claims, also known as bullshit.

    As a result, I tend not to trust anything coming from any DOE lab, including Los Alamos, any more than I would trust something coming from Lockheed Martin or any other defense contractor.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 01:10:12 PM PDT

    •  They are all we've got (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess
      •  We have 1000s of university based researchers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mimi, Odysseus

        Who are more effective, more efficient, do not have to pay 250% overhead, and are not tied to nuclear weapons programs.

        The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

        by Positronicus on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 07:00:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And have just as much (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi

          uncertainty in their funding base and are just as prone to hype to further it.

        •  You won't ever get me to try to defend (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jamess, mimi

          the system that they've created to manage the National Labs.  The overhead is a travesty, as you've correctly pointed out.  I wish there was some way to change it.  And I sure wouldn't want to work for one of the weapons labs.  But it is also true that the EERE program funds a lot of the University research that you seem to hold in such high esteem.

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