1 post • joined 2 Feb 2007
Science is a human activity
and when managed by people who refuse to use best scientific principles, it gets ugly. In the late 70s, management shifted to a business model. In the mid-80s, Congress manipulated funding and "security" to be short-sighted and ignore the actual cultural principles of human activity (long-term research was subject to annual funding; creativity was to be directed by senior management for Congressional fads; helicopter traps were set up which clearly showcased the nuclear materials sites from the anonymous background, even from 30 miles away; focus on terrorists attacking official buildings, when the only high school or grocery store would terrify better, etc.)
This continued in the 90s with the "Tiger Team" pouncing on incompetence-- it's easier to find if everyone is derided as incompetent. The underlying value system and social structure was disrupted. The resulting "organizational culture change" was effective, as you note.
Don Kerr and Sig Hecker were the first to capitulate and their arrogance about what is legitimate science continues.
There is a century-old proven science of human activity (non-linear dynamic systems). It's ironic and disheartening that a science laboratory construes science so narrowly that it would not follow its own principles of scientific inquiry to identify how it operates as an institution and what effect the unthinking changes from University management, Congress, and the Executive Branch would have on national security and international scientific resource. The human waste, environmental waste, dollar waste is enormous.