Talking about the lab

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By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos Historical Society invites the public to the third talk of its 2010-2011 lecture series that will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov.9 in the Pajarito Room of Fuller Lodge. Charles “Chick” Keller will talk about, “Los Alamos Non-Defense Research: The Once and Future Lab.”
The history of Los Alamos has been largely concentrated on the Manhattan Project and its immediate aftermath.
While that was an important time in the history of Los Alamos National Laboratory, there are other stories to tell.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating is the gradual movement of LANL efforts to study non-defense national security problems.
Scientists recognize that a synergy exists between defense and non-defense research. Further, any forecast of the laboratory’s future will involve increased involvement in non-defense research. Because most of these areas will be new to researchers, outside collaboration will be crucial.
Lessons learned from the lab’s history will be very important, perhaps pivotal. This talk will note early work in the 1960s, but also concentrate on more recent efforts largely divorced from nuclear weapons technology.
The talk will be an overview designed to call attention to the wealth of attempts to establish viable non-defense research programs.
Keller hopes that it may stimulate others more knowledgeable in these efforts to write more detailed accounts, perhaps in a book published by the Los Alamos Historical Society on the subject.
The lectures are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of the Los Alamos National Bank and the donations of members of the Historical Society.