National Press Club

Argonne Lab Chief Applauds Up-Tick in Research

September 18, 2009 | By Frank Maisano | Frank.Maisano@bgllp.com

Basic science research would benefit from collaboration toward a common mission, Eric Isaacs, the head of Argonne National Laboratory, said at a Sept. 15 Newsmaker.

Isaacs pointed to the Bell Laboratories research center as an example of success that stemmed in large part from the freedom researchers experienced to follow promising leads and try new things. Isaacs and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu both worked at Bell.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated physicist, Isaacs focused most on lithium battery challenges for electric vehicles and how to solve them.

Isaacs also said that over the next two years, national laboratories such as Argonne and universities that conduct federally funded research in the physical sciences will be able to leverage significant funding committed in the president's stimulus package that can address the nation's most pressing scientific and energy imperatives. He added that this burst of funding reverses a 25-year trend of annual declines.

Argonne is among the U.S. Department of Energy's largest and most diverse national laboratories, with approximately 2,800 employees, including 1,000 scientists and engineers from more than 60 nations at its 1,500-acre campus southwest of Chicago. Argonne supports more than 200 research and technology development projects ranging from high-energy physics and environmental cleanup to alternative energy and homeland security.