We have heard many times it takes a village to raise a child. The corollary with a national laboratory is it takes strong partners to enable discovery.
The major partners for Fermilab — the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and specifically the Office of High Energy Physics, Fermi Research Alliance and their members, the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association, the Fermilab management team, and the DOE Fermi Site Office — recently met to discuss renewal of our partnership commitments. This partnership continues to mature, and our site office is focused on embracing the principles that make this partnership strong:
- We will work together to enable mission objectives.
- We will accept and respect the importance of our respective roles.
- We will be open and forthcoming with information related to work at Fermilab.
- We will strive to learn from our mistakes and focus on improvement, responding with understanding and not blame.
- We will avoid duplication of effort and eliminate low-value activities to the greatest extent possible.
Our collective goal is for Fermilab to be among the best laboratories in the world, delivering scientific results, pushing the envelope of technology and building the next generation of world-leading experiments. In order to achieve that goal, we must operate in a safe, fiscally responsible and sustainable manner.
The DOE Fermi Site Office, like all of your partners, is continually looking for ways to improve, and it encourages feedback from the lab. Feedback among the partners is rarely sugar-coated, and the intent is always to support and encourage improvement. Navigating myriad government requirements presents its challenges, and I assure you we do the best we can to operate within them while using any flexibility we can to responsibly move the mission forward. There are also times when we must accept short-term setbacks with the goal of driving longer-term sustainable progress.
Partnership requires trust. We hope to continue to build your trust as we work to strengthen and expand this partnership. We will never stop advocating for Fermilab, and we will never abdicate our responsibility to ensure workers are safe, the public and environment are protected, and the taxpayers are getting the most science possible from their investment.
Michael Weis is the Department of Energy Fermi Site Office manager.