Berkeley Lab scientists Lynn Price (left) and Nan Zhou (right) expected the long banquet and endless toasting. What they did not expect on a recent trip to a cement plant in central China was a three-hour variety show by the factory employees, complete with folk dancing, song-and-dance numbers and comedians. Even more surprising were the lyrics to one of the songs, which included lines about closing inefficient factories, next year’s clean production targets and so on. As members of Berkeley Lab’s China Energy Group, Price and Zhou, along with colleagues David Fridley and Mark Levine, can now add music to the list of things they’ve inspired, though their normal work is in the far more ho-hum world of refrigerator labels, building energy retrofits, and industrial factories. More>
Lab Director Paul Alivisatos has announced the total allocations for projects selected to receive funds from the FY2010 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. A total of about $18.8 million has been allocated to date for 95 projects (40 new and 55 continuation projects). The projects were selected from a field of 196 proposals using input from divisional and Lab review committees. These total awards are announced now with updated allocations for both the scientific scope-of-work and the addition of laboratory overhead based on the determination by the principal investigators on how they plan to accomplish their work. This year, as part of a trial program, a small number of “Discovery” proposals were reviewed by representatives outside the Lab and UC Berkeley. Of the 23 projects submitted for this track, five were funded (noted with asterisks). Go here to see the complete list of funded projects.
[Los Angeles Times] Monday, the U.N. Climate Change Conference began in Copenhagen. We asked a variety of scholars and environmentalists — including Berkeley Lab earth scientist Inez Fung and EETD’s Ron Cohen — to write about what might be accomplished at the meeting. Say Fung and Cohen: “What is critical for the planet, and what we hope will be achieved at Copenhagen, is for nations to collaborate immediately on solutions that would remove the sources of the pollution, including new energy options and other mitigations.” More>
"In Conversation With…" is the next-generation science seminar series during which host Alice Egan interviews scientists about their lives and work in language everyone can understand. Her next guest is Mike Crommie, who will discuss condensed matter research at the nanoscale, including carbon nanostructures and nano-photovoltaics, today at 1:30 p.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium.
Stanford scientists are harnessing nanotechnology to quickly produce ultra-lightweight, bendable batteries and supercapacitors in the form of everyday paper. Simply coating a sheet of paper with ink made of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires makes a highly conductive storage device, the researchers say. More>
The annual Berkeley Lab Craft Fair will be held today from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. The event features numerous handmade goods for sale, which make excellent holiday gifts. In preparation for the Craft Fair, the cafeteria will close at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
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