... if we are to continue that kind of success we need to
look to the future. So I am here today to release a 20-year roadmap
for future scientific facilities. These facilities and upgrades to
our current inventory will revolutionize science and society. They
are needed to extend the frontiers of science, to purse opportunities
of enormous importance, and to maintain U.S. science primacy in the
We are the single largest supporter of basic research in
the physical sciences, accounting for approximately 40 percent of
all federal funds in this area over the past decade.
If we want to remain the focal point of scientific discovery,
we must look to the future. And that is why I am here today.
Today, I am pleased to announce the Department of Energy's
20-year plan for building the scientific research facilities of the
future. It is our plan to keep the United States at the scientific
Nothing of this scope has ever been attempted by our Department,
or indeed by any other science agency in government. We are not only
planning two decades out, but we are prioritizing our facility needs
across all fields of science supported by the Department of Energy.
In the 21st Century, the health and vitality of U.S. science
and technology will depend upon the availability of the most advanced
research facilities. Not only because science today is so complex,
but because science now requires that chemists, physics, biologists
that all fields of science work together. The facilities we propose
today will bring the sciences under one roof and give researchers
the tools they need to work their wonders.
Let me discuss the way we made our decisions and give you
some flavor of the enormous benefits we see flowing from these new
projects. The process we followed was transparent and interdisciplinary.
The Associate Directors of our six science divisions Basic
Energy Sciences, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear
Physics, Advanced Scientific Computation, and Biological and Environmental
Sciences were asked to list in rank order the major facilities necessary
to maintain world scientific leadership in their programs over the
next 20 years. Some 46 facilities were identified in this process.
This list was then submitted to the respective programs'
Advisory Committees, which are composed of top scientists from universities,
industry, and our laboratories. We asked these committees to analyze
the scientific importance of each proposed facility and to add or
subtract as they saw fit. The appetite for new facilities grew, and
a total of 53 new projects were recommended. Then came the hard part.
The Director of our Office of Science, Raymond Orbach, reviewed
these proposals, ordered them across disciplines, and recommended
28 be considered for funding over a 20-year planning horizon. This
may appear unilateral, but the selection was informed by the best
minds in all the affected fields. And, frankly, the alternative of
decision by committee was not acceptable, because committees despite
their best efforts are notorious for delivering compromise documents
that too often settle on the lowest common denominator.
This effort has been endorsed by the directors of our science
laboratories, who understand the importance of modern facilities for
future scientific discovery. In addition, the Task Force on the Future
of Science at the Department of Energy, which was established at my
direction and is chaired by Dr. Charles Vest, President of MIT, has
praised this effort in its recent report. It is gratifying that this
effort has received support from those who understand the enterprise
of science best.
This list of facilities is driven by science and the Department
of Energy mission, nothing else. Our criteria were straightforward:
Which facilities are most important for Department of Energy science
over the next two decades, taking into account whether the prospects
for construction were in the near, mid, or far-term?
Clearly, this document has implications for the budget. But
it is not a budget document. It will be up to Congress and the Administration
to determine how much to spend on science and on new scientific facilities
and to balance them against other national priorities. Once that decision
is made, however, we owe it to the American taxpayers to demonstrate
that we have thoroughly evaluated what sequence of investment we believe
best for the science we do at DOE.
Let me stress one point here. We believe this list of 28
facilities outlines to an important extent the future of science in
America and indeed the world.
What I have discussed today is just a snapshot of the detailed
roadmap we have drawn for our major science projects over the next
two decades. We recognize that, from time to time, this prioritized
list should be re-examined in light of discoveries in science that
may offer new opportunities we cannot imagine today. But that should
not be done casually.
The American taxpayers deserve to see how we would invest
their money over the next 20 years. More than that, the public deserves
to know what our priorities will be over that time period. They need
to see that decisions of this magnitude are made after serious thought,
and that their government can commit to long-range planning. We believe
this list of 28 science facilities fulfills that responsibility.
Indeed, we think it is the cornerstone for the future of
critical fields of science in America.