Mar 7, 2009

Comment of the Week

It's that time again. And, once again it was difficult to select one single comment from the 207 submitted this week to be honored as Comment of the Week. I did notice, however, that most of the comments to Frank's blog fall neatly into one of three categories: Incisive, Funny, or Pathetic. Plenty to choose from in that last category, sadly. This week a winning comment from each of these three categories will share the COTW award.

From the Incisive group, we have this bit of succinct, compact wisdom plucked from the NUCLEAR WEAPONS: NNSA and DOD Need to More Effectively Manage the Stockpile Life Extension Program post:

"What is the point of keeping LANL if there is little to no science left for the managers to manage?" - 2:01 AM

Cashflow, baby, cashflow.


In the Funny Category, we select this vivid tidbit of LANL culture from last week's Comment of the Week

Wow, I can't believe how many of you are unwilling to believe that some of the male scientists at LANL are creepy disgusting pigs. Yes, guys, the bike shorts are really nasty, especially after several days in a row. And nobody wants to see that "potato" bulging out of your spandex in front. This is not a Chippendales show... not until you get a decent tan and some muscle definition.

And as far as the general goofball tendencies at LANL, what's with the guy who commutes along Diamond Drive on an oversized unicycle? And in the evening he wears a blinking light on his helmet for safety - ROTFL!

Yes indeedy boys, as we ladies say: the odds are good... but the goods are very, very odd.


There was plenty of competition for winner of the Pathetic category. It was a toss-up, but I settled on this contribution, also from last week's COTW post. Some people are clearly devoting way too much time chasing trivial pursuits on this blog.

8:18 pm: "Gotcha dipshit, scientists do not have "office meetings", that is a business term. Try harder next time idiot."

I'm (almost) left speechless by this poster's naivete, not to mentions aggressive idiocy. Scientists do not have office meetings??? What a joke. In my organization, mandatory Group meetings are held every week. Discussions include program progress and problems, new management notices and/or requirements, new training, status of old Group business, etc. I guess this poster is some wannabe who has no clue about actual professional life, scientific or otherwise. Go change another oil filter, moron.

Finally, a blast from the past. Back in the "Good Old Days" of February, 2005, the lab was in the final month of what eventually turned out to be a seven month Nanos-imposed shutdown. Interestingly, many of the staff were able to show that they still possesed a sharp sense of humor, even during that dark period of LANL's history. Humor, I've noticed, seems in short supply at today's LANL. Anyhow, we had a poetry contest. Here were a couple of the winners from the first round competition.

From the http://www.parrot-farm.net/lanl-the-real-story/2005/02/pete-nanos-limerick-competition.html post:

First, my favorite -- a Haiku:

Navy admiral -
Peter Principle applies:
in over his head


Runner up:

Director Pete Nanos has said,
if you do science you are a butt-head.
So he stopped all work,
that moronic jerk!
Now science at LANL is dead.


Under LANL's new management plan,
if you try to do science you're canned.
Shall we instill a revolt?
Or just give up and bolt?
Either way, it's "game over," man.


Quoth Nanos, "Disks are missing, oh dear!"
"They're neither here, nor here, nor here!"
"You're all cowboys, I say."
"Now we'll do it MY way!"
Make way for intimidation and fear.


These cowboys have met their match!
Just watch, the bad actors I'll catch!
Guilty or not, I'll fire the lot!
With ten men, I'll start over from scratch.


Security lapses must stop!
So Nanos decides to play cop.
After half a year,
the verdict is clear:
Barcodes: a billion a pop.


Oh Nanos, why don't you just leave us?
Your actions really do grieve us.
Those missing disks?
Just labels amiss!
If we're butt-heads, then you must be Beavis!


--Doug



58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ode to LANL

Once the best and brightest roamed the halls
Now the buildings have crumbling walls

All hands meetings are a bore
Director’s from the moon of Endor

Check the contract boxes with no glitch
Running this lab will make you rich

Oversight bureaucracy grows like a cancer
Some people think they found the ANSA

Anonymous said...

"
8:18 pm: "Gotcha dipshit, scientists do not have "office meetings", that is a business term. Try harder next time idiot."

I'm (almost) left speechless by this poster's naivete, not to mentions aggressive idiocy. Scientists do not have office meetings??? What a joke. In my organization, mandatory Group meetings are held every week. Discussions include program progress and problems, new management notices and/or requirements, new training, status of old Group business, etc. I guess this poster is some wannabe who has no clue about actual professional life, scientific or otherwise. Go change another oil filter, moron."

I think the point that was raised is that there are posters or tolls on this blog that claim that they work at LANL. They do this to try to give credenec that their insults and denigration of the lab workers. The reality is that are often spewing complete lies and fabricated stories. LANL has lots of problems which I feel are related to bad managment. The regular workers at LANL are not
the horrible people that some of the trolls make them out to be.

The term "office meeting" is a dead giveaway that the troll is not scientist at LANL or anywhere else for that matter. It is a term that is simply not used in any scientific or academic organization. On the other hand "office meeting" is used for office workers.

What is truly pathetic is that some people for whatever reason need to attack and insult the people who work at LANL. There is plenty of things to complain about at LANL but the averge worker is not one of them. I like the blog and feel that it is just another form of information but we have to remember that anyone can say anything on this blog so much of the information is suspect.

Anonymous said...

Revenge of the D's

Geeks in bike shorts ruled the lab
But now they work for Walden U. grads

Emails lost for safety sake
PDFs called dangerous fakes

Shoes that GRIP and car drip quizes
Online training makes account code whizzes

LLCs bring tons of cash
Sports cars fit for Director's ass

Morale has fallen, yet no one cares
Zombies walk the halls in fear

Dr. Chu is here to help
But first he must recuse himself

Corporate workers must be fed
So Bechtel parks them here, instead

LANL, known for world class science
Now it's known for strict compliance

Want to know what brought this fall?
Grade-D students, that says it all!

Anonymous said...

"And nobody wants to see that "potato" bulging out of your spandex in front."

hahahah! just be thankful the potato's in the front!

now i have a new term to describe these rejects from tron...potato pants!

Anonymous said...

"The term "office meeting" is a dead giveaway that the troll is not scientist at LANL or anywhere else for that matter. It is a term that is simply not used in any scientific or academic organization. On the other hand "office meeting" is used for office workers. "

You are the pathetic one, to think that every scientist at LANL has to use your approved set of words. So, if I don't express myself using exactly the same dictionary that you use, then I am not a scientist. I guess I should start spelling it "Looser" rather than LOSER, since most LANL scientists misspell this word. LOSER.

Anonymous said...

Geez, you people are fighting over semantics...office meeting, meeting in office, whatever. Let's get back to how this place is going into the toilet.

These posts are starting to read like an angry abe simpson letter. BTW, we have a soundboard for these letters, it's called the LA Monitor.

"Dear Advertisers, I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals who remember the good old days when entertainment was bland and inoffensive. The following is a list of words I never want to hear on television again. Number one: bra. Number two: horny. Number three: family jewels."

Anonymous said...

This seems like the right place for my comment and anonymous is the way to go, after reading a few ad hominum comments mixed with cursing.
I am retired from the lab but still consult for LLNL and other entities.
Today's NYT describes the terrible situations for graduate students ready to complete their PhD. I believe the time has come for LANL staff to realize the damage they are doing to the national science budget. It's quite clear that LANL research monies, outside of weapons support, are the least productive in the nation. All the statistics seem to bear this out. I list the cost of patents versus license income and the cost of research vs the quantity of papers or the number of cites in Citation Index. Hasn't the time come to end the failed attempt to justify LANL on the basis of scientific research?
It's clear to all of us as well as Secretary Chu that technology may help us out of this energy mess, which has lead to our destructive dependence on the Middle East. Massive cost and retraining is necessary to make LANL even slightly productive. Monies are sent to the lab without peer revue in the name of secrecy. Programs burn up funds because their lack of purpose and progress is hidden from the rest of the nation. The time has come for LANL to become only a weapons and clean-up lab and to stop wasting scarce science funding.

Anonymous said...

5:29 PM

Hear, hear! THIS should be the comment of the week!

Anonymous said...

5:29 pm obviously has an axe to grind regarding LANL. Maybe his own publications receive no citations, or he doesn't have any and resents those who do? In any case, he makes some rather grand statements without data, attribution, or elaboration, the most egregious of which is "cost of research vs the quality of papers."

Anonymous said...

"3/8/09 5:29 PM"

This is one of the most inane things posted on the blog yet. Firt of all the NYT article is focussed on students in the humanities, read it again Mr 5:29pm. On the main point basic science is about 6-8 percent of the lab budget. It accounts for 2/3 of the publications. LANL is among the top 10 institutes in the world in terms of scientific productivity as measured by common standard of publications and citations and is in the top
5 for the United States. This study has been done time and time again. These results have also been posted on the blog before. Considering
the budget for basic science LANL would have be be one of the most cost effective institutions when it comes to science.

??????????????
" the cost of research vs the quantity of papers or the number of cites in Citation Index.
"
?????????????

The studies show exactly the opposite!!! Where do you get your
numbers?

"All the statistics seem to bear this out."

Again this is opposite of what you say. We have gone over this on the blog since 2005.

LANL is the largest physical science lab in the United States. Thousands of people are trained at LANL that go to universities all over the United States and our allies.

"Monies are sent to the lab without peer revue in the name of secrecy. "

LDRD is in fact peer-reviewed. The typical DR is usually of higher standard than equivalent NSF grants.

"Programs burn up funds because their lack of purpose and progress is hidden from the rest of the nation."

Your whole post is a huge contradiction. First you say non-weapons money is misspent. However non weapons money such as LDRD is peer-reviewed and the results are open to the rest of the nation. If there are programs the burn up funds in secret than they have to be weapons funds. You cannot have it both ways.

"the terrible situations for graduate students ready to complete their PhD. I believe the time has come for LANL staff to realize the damage they are doing to the national science budget. "

Again this article was primarily on humanities students. These students do not get science funding. Second the terrible situation was not due to LANL using up science funding
but rather colleges shutting down faculty searches due to the recession which has lowered endowments.

As for science studens. When they graduate they can typically get jobs doing science at industry, labs and universities. Shutting down the largest science laboratory in the nation would be one of the worse things that could happen for people looking for jobs in science.

"I am retired from the lab "

Chris Mechels likes to say he "retired from the lab" but he should mention that he was fired or was told he was going to be fired for poor performance. Judging from his poorly thoughout rants it is clear that he is not the brightest person. You sound very much like him. You provide no verifiable numbers or facts, make sweeping generalizations, amd make casual connections that do not exist. Sounds like a Mechels rant to me.

Anonymous said...

"LDRD is in fact peer-reviewed"

Peer-reviewed, in house. During the 1 1/2 year review, outside reviewers are brought in that are sympathetic towards the PI. Most LDRD projects would not be funded through NSF or NIH, period. Many scientists at LANL would benefit by reading an article every now and then. Perhaps they would then see that how far behind the pack they really are.

Anonymous said...

""LDRD is in fact peer-reviewed"

Peer-reviewed, in house. During the 1 1/2 year review, outside reviewers are brought in that are sympathetic towards the PI. Most LDRD projects would not be funded through NSF or NIH, period. Many scientists at LANL would benefit by reading an article every now and then. Perhaps they would then see that how far behind the pack they really are.

3/8/09 9:23 PM"

LDRD on on whole is comparable if not more stringent that NSF. If you referee NSF, DOE, or NIH grants you would know this. By the way a number of scientists at LANL have grants from these agencies which sinks your
whole point about how bad LANL scientists are.

"Many scientists at LANL would benefit by reading an article every now and then. Perhaps they would then see that how far behind the pack they really are."

What is your justification for this
statement. The top journals in science are Nature, Scinece, and PNAS, and Nature subjects. LANL publishes close to 100 artilces in these every year. Only a few other institutes in the nation can say that.

Try getting at least a modicum of facts right before posting.

Anonymous said...

The peer review of LANL's LDRD proposals is reasonable. The success rate of proposals is about 10% which is very low by the standards of the NSF, NIH, etc.

BUT, if you really want to see some scandalously wired proposals, check out the SBIR activities of the DOE, DOD, etc.

Anonymous said...

3/8/09 8:24 PM

"LDRD is in fact peer-reviewed"

Perhaps when Watkins was in charge but certainly not under Priedhorsky's watch. That slimebag has manipulated the process so much that he even goes as far as overturning committee decisions to seek out revenge and corrupts the system each time to make sure his AD bitches and PADSTE are happy with pappy.

Anonymous said...

"LDRD on on whole is comparable if not more stringent that NSF. If you referee NSF, DOE, or NIH grants you would know this."

Man, this makes my blood boil. I referee several proposals per month for these funding agencies and you are way off base here.

The numbers may be a bit off since it is hard to find them on the web, but they are not wild. LDRD at LANL is ~100M$ per year and ~4,000 scientists are able to compete for it. NSF math and physical sciences has 1.2B$ per year. ALL of that is open to ALL faculty at ALL universities and can not even be compared to the protected LDRD.

You work at a lab that was built with my tax dollars, on instruments that were bought with my tax dollars and you can even compete with me as a faculty member for NSF grants! You have NO idea about funding competition!!

You may do great work -- so could a lot of other people if they got to compete with your favorable odds.

Anonymous said...

Authors, Journal Editors Respond to Possible Cases of Plagiarism Identified by Analysis

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/549707/?sc=swhn

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/323/5919/1293

Anonymous said...

"3/9/09 8:38 AM"

Wrong Wrong Wrong.

"Man, this makes my blood boil. I referee several proposals per month for these funding agencies and you are way off base here."


Look you just lying at this point. You would have to
referee up 24 NSF and NIH grants a year for this to be true.
They actually have limits on how many grants you can referee per year
since they do not want to overburden the referees.
Also if you really have referred such grants as you say than you would know
that the successful LDRD's are in fact comparable.
Also the number of publications out of a typical LDRD project is
on average higher than a comparable NSF grant.

Some other points
(1) NSF grants typically have a success rate of about 0.12-19 percent, which is
higher than LDRD, so there is in fact more competition for LDRD. (2)
LANL staff can only compete for NSF grants in a very limited fashion for
NSF. (3) LANL staff that have left for academia have to my knowledge all
been successful at getting NSF funding. (4) Although some good staff have
left there are still a number of comparable quality staff at LANL.
(5) The NSF budget is in fact 5B per year for physical, biological and
computer sciences. LDRD is not limited to the physical sciences but
also biological, computer and engineering sciences, so 5B is the
the correct number.

You have repeatedly avoided using facts in your arguments. Again
get some facts right before posting.

Anonymous said...

It's sure entertaining watching all these ego bound scientists at LANL do battle with each other over implied insults to their perceived greatness. Actually, pathetic is probably a more appropriate term.

Anonymous said...

The LANL LDRD protected class doth protest too much, methinks

Anonymous said...

As I've gotten older and gotten to know women better, I find less to like and much more to dislike.

(a elderly non-LANL rider with neither muscle definition or tights)

When we are beyond the lure of the next bedding, we can look objectively of the price men pay in criticism, manipulation, compromise, domination and unwelcome mommying as the price of the occasional entry into the unsatisfied ego of woman.

Anonymous said...

12:00 PM wow, talk about coming out of left field!

anyway, back to the ldrd conversation. how much time do most tsm's spend on ldrd preproposals? a month, maybe? also, how many ldrd-funded projects publish in science or nature (don't say nature subjects b/c no one reads those journals, many libraries don't even subscribe to them)?

I think the point is that funding is peer-reviewed by a corrupt system. also, many of the papers coming out aren't cited b/c they do not represent a major contribution to the field. very few ldrd projects make a dent in the field.

Anonymous said...

The statistics that describe the patent performance of the lab, One must simply make a FOIA request to get the sad numbers. The Citation Index makes the lab a star performer in the hard sciences unless one normalizes the publication or citation numbers by the research budget or the number of researchers. After that adjustment LANL's productivity is contemptible.
The angry-appearing statements that the lab is scientifically productive always seems to ignore or neglect the need to normalize. Who writes those things?

Anonymous said...

"LANL is among the top 10 institutes in the world in terms of scientific productivity as measured by common standard of publications and citations and is in the top
5 for the United States."

only true if the 'common standard' is either

(a) institute budget / publication

or

(b)institute arrogance / publication

Anonymous said...

3:23 PM is so right. "scientists" sitting around, talking about what they are going to do, collecting a paycheck. then after 2 years, they stop showing up all together. you'll find less leeches in louisiana swampland than you will at lanl.

Anonymous said...

The typical "winning" LDRD proposal would fare poorly in an NSF competition, but the converse is also true.

The primary difference stems from the makeup of the LDRD review panels, which are by design interdisciplinary, not specialist, panels. NSF proposals are written for, and reviewed by, specialists in the proposer's own subspecialty. NSF reviewers are pseudo-anonymous, while LDRD committee composition is normally public knowledge. Another big difference is that LDRD has no (official) mechanism for renewal grants; each project is nominally self-contained and must be designed to achieve some worthy gaol within 3 years. NSF proposals are usually highly self-referential, while LDRD's generally reference some external reality (i.e. mission or grand challenge).

In my experience, it is rare for a tenured professor to arrive at LANL and successfully compete for LDRD funding. The learning curve is usually around 3 years, even if they have shown past success in getting NSF funds. Admittedly this is a small statistical sample, the point is that past success in NSF is not a good predictor of success in LDRD.

I won't presume to speak for NIH grants as I have no experience with them.

Anonymous said...

"The Citation Index makes the lab a star performer in the hard sciences unless one normalizes the publication or citation numbers by the research budget or the number of researchers."

And you get these numbers, how?

Anonymous said...

It's not quite appropriate the compare the Laboratory's cost per publication to costs at universities. Universities are heavily subsidized by tuition and state governments (for public institutions). They have graduate student who actually do most of such work at minimal salaries.

And, don't come in with some nonsense about giving ALL of the money to the universities. They can do rudimentary research.

Anonymous said...

Here is an article relevant to some of the previous comments from the Chronicle of Higher Education about science and engineering. Although this was written 9/21/07, I doubt the situation has improved. More likely the situation has deteriorated.

http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i04/04a00102.htm

The Real Science Crisis: Bleak Prospects for Young Researchers

Tight budgets, scarce jobs, and stalled reforms push students away from scientific careers
By RICHARD MONASTERSKY

"...
But for many of today's graduate students, the future could not look much bleaker.

They see long periods of training, a shortage of academic jobs, and intense competition for research grants looming ahead of them. "They get a sense that this is a really frustrating career path," says Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

So although the operating assumption among many academic leaders is that the nation needs more scientists, some of brightest students in the country are demoralized and bypassing scientific careers.

The problem stems from the way the United States nurtures its developing brainpower — the way it trains, employs, and provides grants for young scientists. For decades, blue-ribbon panels have called for universities to revise graduate doctoral programs, which produced a record-high 27,974 Ph.D.'s in science and engineering in 2005. No less a body than the National Academy of Sciences has, in several reports, urged doctoral programs to train science students more broadly for jobs inside and outside academe, to shorten Ph.D. programs, and even to limit the number of degrees they grant in some fields.
..."

Anonymous said...

3:23 PM is so right. "scientists" "sitting around, talking about what they are going to do, collecting a paycheck. then after 2 years, they stop showing up all together. you'll find less leeches in louisiana swampland than you will at lanl.

3/9/09 5:41 PM"

?????
Put down the crack pipe.

Anonymous said...

10:31 AM ... shut up, Dubey, oh I mean Priedhorsky and Wallace up the ass suck-up!

Anonymous said...

12:00 PM - Hi, Terry! Boy, you are an insecure little f*ck. Enjoy the times while you can, my man. Your day is coming.

Anonymous said...

"And you get these numbers, how?

3/9/09 6:37 PM"

Anyone who has an IQ greater than their body temperature can figure it out. Care to try? Oh, Wait ...

Anonymous said...

3/9/09 3:23 PM asked ... "Who writes those things?"

Oh, that would be Kevin Roark with heavy input from Terry Wallace. Any further questions?

Anonymous said...

"And you get these numbers, how?"

This is a comment that might be honest. Citation Index (CI) is a publication that monitors other publications. Anyone with access, like all LANL employees, can submit a scientist's name and find all the journals that have been cited that bear that name among the authors. There are many other services offered and it is not unlikely that one can simply locate the relative output and citations of every lab member. LANL, of course, has a very large, proportionately, number of functionaries with advanced degrees who publish nothing at all. By not including these scientific "invisible men" one might come up with a better than deserved output per scientist.
It might be possible to find out the "non-weapons" fraction of the lab budget without a FOIA letter and get a good estimate of the dollars per paper. One should point out, however, that LANL is anxious to increase its publication record and will happily pay the publication fees for redundant and irrelevant publications. Awards can be deceiving, too, applications for the R&D 100 awards, which LANL management seems to prefer as a measure, are allocated $50,000 from one's research budget, if you choose to apply. We should all chew on that next time the awards come around.

Anonymous said...

3/7/09 7:12 PM gets my nomination for the pathetic comment of the year. The same stupid crap gets awarded pathetic comment of the week and yet he/she still feels the need to pretend to be someone else to justify the comment. Any sentient being can figure out that many of the comments come from non-LANL employees pretending to work here, yet this idiot still feels the need to pretend to be someone else to praise the original comment. This is beyond pathetic.

Anonymous said...

It's a pyramid scheme. Universities must bring in more students to collect more tuition money so they can keep building new buildings. Professors must bring in more students to get tenure and use them as slave labor. The student eventually graduates into a society that doesn't value science and will likely work an endless string of low-wage postdocs for most of his/her career, before he/she eventually gives up and leaves science. A few will become professors to perpetuate the system.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that guy who posted a couple minutes ago has a really good point. Must be a fucking genius!

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Must be some smart person here tonight.

Anonymous said...

"3/7/09 7:12 PM gets my nomination for the pathetic comment of the year. The same stupid crap gets awarded pathetic comment of the week and yet he/she still feels the need to pretend to be someone else to justify the comment. Any sentient being can figure out that many of the comments come from non-LANL employees pretending to work here, yet this idiot still feels the need to pretend to be someone else to praise the original comment. This is beyond pathetic.

3/10/09 6:51 PM
"

What is your point? It sounds more like pathetic rant.

Anonymous said...

3/10 4:04 PM, yes, the question was a serious one and merited a serious answer, as opposed to the dimwitted rants of 3/05 9:35 PM.

Citations per lab employee is a fairly easy (though tedious) number to obtain. Citations per researcher much harder, because one must first define "researcher" in a context that makes comparison to university research truly "apples to apples." Would you include Lab employees whose job, per their contract with a funding agency, is to deliver a prototype satellite? Those whose job is to secure and/or verify nuclear materials in foreign countries? Those whose job is to manufacture pits? Those whose job is to design nuclear weapons detonators?

For the specific purpose of a citation index comparison, I would not include these scientists and eningeers, simply because the desired output of their work cannot be defined in terms of citable publications in the open literature. We can make some intelligent guesses at the number of "researchers" at LANL, but to my knowledge nobody has a true head count. Even the new Scientist and R&D Engineer job titles won't get you the exact answer, since many people engage in a mix of "programmatic" and "research" activities.

The other proposed denominator (research dollars) is also a tough one to measure. The answer is not $2.2B, which is the approximate Lab budget, again because most of the funding that comes to the Laboratory is for mission activities that, by design, produce an output OTHER THAN citeable publications in the open literature. If we look at the funding splits by major program activity, we can make some intelligent guesses. NNSA Safeguards and Security funding, for example, is directed 8% toward research activities, because of the LDRD program. That's at the low end. At the high end would be Office of Science funding, with this wedge being presumably 100% directed toward research activities. Everything else is somewhere in between. You'd expect that NNSA Weapons Program and DOE Environmental Management funding would have a slight "research" component (above the 8% for LDRD), but certainly not more than 5% or so, since their real desired outputs are "bombs" and "cleanup" respectively.

Using this approach, my SWAG at the actual LANL "research" budget comes out somewhere in the $400 to $500 million range.

So, my dear friend at 3/9/09 9:35 PM, would you care to post a new comment that helps us all see that your own body temparature is somewhere north of 75 degrees?

Anonymous said...

"3/11/09 12:46 PM"

No not facts!!! noooooooooooo!!!

Anonymous said...

To excellent comment of 12:46 pm I can only add that paper pushing is much bigger fraction of life of a lab scientist than a university professor, and that almost at any moment (s)he has to think about the growing octopus of security and safety regulations, making us nervous wrecks.

Anonymous said...

CI can be sort for lab. Total cite for LBL is top and for LLNL also very high. LANL not so high as LLNL. This for total lab. LANL three time size LBL and two time size LLNL.
What this mean?
People more cite most important paper and LANL not have so many important paper.

Anonymous said...

"CI can be sort for lab. Total cite for LBL is top and for LLNL also very high. LANL not so high as LLNL. This for total lab. LANL three time size LBL and two time size LLNL.
What this mean?
People more cite most important paper and LANL not have so many important paper.

3/14/09 9:30 AM"

Funny CI shows LANL is higher than LBL by a small amount and much higher than LLNL. What does it mean? CI is not that hard to use.
I think you just made it up. I take it you just made this up.

Anonymous said...

"CI can be sort for lab. Total cite for LBL is top and for LLNL also very high. LANL not so high as LLNL. This for total lab. LANL three time size LBL and two time size LLNL.
What this mean?
People more cite most important paper and LANL not have so many important paper.

3/14/09 9:30 AM"

Funny CI shows LANL is higher than LBL by a small amount and much higher than LLNL. What does it mean? CI is not that hard to use.
I think you just made it up. I take it you just made this up.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that you have made the point easy.
Unless LANL is 3x LBL and 2x LLNL, then they are each much more highly cited per capita than LANL.
More cites are equated with more world class science.
Ergo, LANL isn't at the top of these ranks.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that you have made the point easy.
"Unless LANL is 3x LBL and 2x LLNL, then they are each much more highly cited per capita than LANL.
More cites are equated with more world class science.
Ergo, LANL isn't at the top of these ranks.

3/14/09 9:39 PM"

Comparing to LBL is hard however LANL is certainly more that 2X LLNL and 6-8 X Sandia.

Anonymous said...

9:30 am : "What this mean?"

This thread is seemingly populated by inarticulate texters who have no actual language skills. Is this our fate? Yikes! How can science progress if scientists cannot communicate except through pidgin English and teenage argot? Technical jargon is bad enough!

Complete sentences? Grammar? Anyone? The end of a society is marked by the end of it's language, which presages the end of it's culture. The barbarians are at the gate.

Anonymous said...

"The end of a society is marked by the end of it's language, which presages the end of it's culture."

And by its inability to use apostrophes appropriately.

Time to head for the hills, folks.

Oh, wait, you already live in the hills. Well, duck and cover, then.

Anonymous said...

"What this mean?"

I know what the writer means and asking for clarification is often a fair comment. I read this blog because there is often a real "give and take" and the Ad Hominem and cursing contributions can be ignored.
Many of us are looking for W.F. Buckley - type discussions where points are met and there is a logical continuity of argument. One tends, however, to judge the community by the quality of writing. It's sad to read, for example, the responses in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Anonymous said...

Rankings are used as a measurement of prestige. There are many ways that research institutions could be ranked, and the CI is but one of them. Prestige is relative and there is no absolute scale. In some measure, prestige is where informed individuals collectively would rank an institution and it has large elements of both subjective judgment and historical bias included. Therefore, institutions tend to move in prestige at a slow pace – going up or down significantly may take years.

Institutions on the way up strive to increase in prestige over time, while those at the top strive to maintain their prestige. The crux of the ranking debate is whether an institution is headed up or down on the relative scale, over some defined time period.

Universities (and even departments in universities) often issue press releases over rankings – especially those that involve some aspect of measurable data. Selectivity is important in some of these ranking formulas (number of applicants per available entering student slot). The value ratio, or rank of the institution as a function of the cost of the institution, is increasingly one of the more often cited derivative rankings.

Quantity and quality of faculty research is the major driver for graduate school rankings.

Quantity could be total number of publications. Quality might include some indication of where the work was published (again, relative to where other work was published – no absolute here either) or how many other researchers referenced the work in their own publication (CI).

Presentations on original research results are taken into account in some rankings. Here, venue is a large discriminator – was it one of several talks to a local audience of a few people or the plenary at an international meeting with several thousand in the room.

For some institutions, revenue derived from intellectual property could be a significant factor in their prestige.

Most ranking constructs give significant weight to peer honors (Nobel Prize, National Academy election, etc.).

I’m sure that there will be lots of pot shots taken at this by readers; however, the point is that CI – in isolation – should not be equated with absolute quality. For example, if one restricted the measurement of quality to peer honors, then LBL would be at the top of that list.

So, the CI debate could be raised to prestige. What additional available data can be presented to defend the claim (from the post that spawned the CI discussion) that “LANL is in top 10 research institutes in the world and top 5 in the US”?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...so I was curious and I checked the number of NAS members at LANL compared with MIT, a top 5 school for research. LANL has 3 members, last one elected in 1984. MIT has 107. It's harder to run the numbers for LBL and LLNL b/c the staff are usually also joint faculty at a major university (such as A. Paul Alivisatos).

Anonymous said...

12:02 pm: Could you be a little bit more verbose?

Anonymous said...

The only "index" that matters is how many of the nuclear weapons in the stockpile were designed at Los Alamos.

Anonymous said...

4:41 etc,

Lots of hand waving, not much data.

You call yourselves scientists?

Anonymous said...

What about R&D 100 Awards?

Anonymous said...

For last several years LANL isn't in top 5 for R&D 100 Awards.

Anonymous said...

So, there is no data to support the claim that LANL is in the top 5 science institutions in the US.