Dear Executive Board Members,
As you know, we (Bob and Steve) solicited, and obtained, a 20 minute
presentation at the HEPAP meeting in Washington last week. This
gave us the opportunity to present to HEPAP the excellent progress made
by the collaboration, and our fiscal problems. The presentation was well
received, but the overall HEP environment in which we are trying to make
our own specific case is a grim one. We thought it important for us to
summarize for you our notes from the HEPAP meeting. We intend to have an
Exec. Board phone conference meeting in the near future so we can discuss
this and other matters that have arisen since our board meeting at LBNL
Bob and Steve
Comments on HEPAP Meeting held in Washington Nov 7 and 8.
The HEPAP meeting was a two day meeting. We (Bob and Steve) were present
only for the second day. However, what happened on the first day dominated
the HEPAP discussions at the end of the meeting.
On the first day of the meeting Ray Orbach (DOE head of the office of
gave a longish talk that recommended an aggressively competitive attitude to
both the B factory (US vs. Japan) and the Tevatron (US vs. Europe). On the
Tevatron Run II, he had said that "you" (the HEP community) must do whatever
is needed to assure the 15 inverse Femto Barns that had been a goal, but
which has now been written into the Congressional Record as a "requirement"
by FY 08 (i.e. before LHC). On both the B Factory and TeVatron issues, the
committee had apparently tried to guide him away from such simplistic
thinking, but failed.
In this atmosphere, on the second day there were many complaints and fears
that programs were being, or would be, sacrificed ("throwing all the wood
onto the fire"). Our appeal was thus one small voice among many.
When, in the roundup discussion, our presentation came up, Fred Gilman and
others said some nice words, suggesting that we might be a "special case".
Dave Hitlin objected implying, I think, that our funding was in some way
connected to the Congressional Cap on NLC R&D, but O'Fallon answered that
that was not so. The Cap, he said, applied specifically to NLC because of
its linkage to a possible multi-billion project. But the discussion ended
without an obvious consensus in our favor. Bob has spoken to Fred since the
meeting and was told that the HEPAP letter summarizing the conclusions of
the meeting would include reference to our problems, but only in the larger
context of the many funding problems.
During the HEPAP meeting we talked with O'Fallon briefly. He said that any
funding "restitution" would depend on HEP receiving additional funding. He
did tell us that we were welcome to visit him in Germantown to discuss our
case our prospects for FY04 in more detail. We can only hope that we will
get a better response when we meet him, with Dave Sutter, which is now
scheduled for Dec 5th.
In a generally dark scene, there are two slivers of light:
1) The NSF has some hope of Congressional action to increase their
Budget. As a result, they were not without some hope that RSVP might get
into the FY04 Budget. This, for us, would offer the hope of future shared
target experiment running. It could also offer hope for MICE.
2) Ray Orbach had spoken of the need for Accelerator R&D and of some
"hope" for a future (FY unspecified) initiative in this direction.
Subsequently Steve talked to Witherell to understand more clearly what this
Accelerator R&D initiative is, and what its status is. Witherell thought
that it would be appropriate for the MC Spokespeople to write a letter
requesting that the collaboration has an appropriate level of input as a
possible accelerator R&D initiative becomes better defined. In other words
the initiative is still a vague idea, but we could contribute to it
becoming less vague.
In summary, at the HEPAP meeting we succeeded in conveying to the panel
our progress and our funding problems. However, the bigger problems that HEP
has will make it hard for us to get attention focussed on our specific