Science and Politics After Retirement

In 1978 Senator Claude Pepper, who was then 78 years old, introduced legislation that made it illegal to retire federal employees based on chronological age, and this legislation was extended later to apply more generally. In consequence, I made a private agreement with my fellow associate directors of SLAC that we would retire at age 65 as bureaucrats and retire as members of the faculty, if applicable, at age 70. This agreement is of course not legally enforceable, but has remained a guideline thereafter, although not exactly obeyed. As a result, Joe Ballam and Dick Neal retired as associate directors in 1982, and I announced my retirement as lab director in 1984 and became emeritus professor in 1989. My letter to the president of the university announcing my retirement as director was delivered about a year in advance of the actual date; it indicated that SLAC was in good shape and that there was time for a formal search committee to be convened to designate a successor, but it was also clear that Burt Richter was an obvious candidate. Indeed, the president of Stanford appointed a search committee that selected Burt as my successor.


Nuclear Weapon Spend Fuel Nuclear Explosion Light Flash Light Water Reactor 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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