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Debunking the “culture of arrogance” at Los Alamos National Labs

Or apologizing for it? Read and decide.

Anthropologist Hugh Gusterson, who self-identifies as “the Margaret Mead of the weapons labs” has written a thorough debunking of the myth that the disk-misplacing “cowboys and buttheads” (i.e., scientists) at Los Alamos National Labs live in a rarified “culture of arrogance.” (Either that, or he’s their sock puppet, as some have suggested.) What’s interesting is that he mostly blames the ham-fisted interference of the Bush administration. If you remember the series of embarrassing security-breach headlines that started with Wen Ho Lee and ended with a takeover of the lab’s management by a for-profit consortium, Gusterson’s brief three-act revisionist history is totally worth reading. (A tip of the hat to Slashdot for blogging this story in the first place.)

 

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