Samuel Bodman, secretary of the US Department of Energy, has disbanded the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), DOE’s highest-level independent scientific advisory panel. Several weeks ago, after talking with his senior advisers within DOE, Bodman sent “thank-you” letters announcing the end of SEAB to the board’s 28 members, which include two Nobel laureates in physics.

The independent advisory board is no longer needed, said DOE spokesman Craig Stevens, because the “course for the department has been pretty well set by White House priorities.” With the administration’s unveiling its Advanced Energy Initiative and the broader American Competitiveness Agenda, Bodman “believes that, for at least the foreseeable future, our course is set,” Stevens said. Because of that, he continued, “there is nothing that the secretary wanted from the board.”

SEAB member Burton Richter, director emeritus at SLAC, said he learned the board was being disbanded when he read about it recently...

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