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Who Needs People, Anyway?

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory work too hard. So officials have decided to cope with a 3% cut in the lab's 1990 budget by telling everybody to stay home as much as possible. This is how it works: Director John Nuckolls has asked the lab's 8,000 employees to use up all of the vacation time they earn this year, as well as one fourth of the time they have accrued during their tenure at the lab. The money to pay vacation time comes out of a different pot from the money for reg

The Scientist Staff

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory work too hard. So officials have decided to cope with a 3% cut in the lab's 1990 budget by telling everybody to stay home as much as possible. This is how it works: Director John Nuckolls has asked the lab's 8,000 employees to use up all of the vacation time they earn this year, as well as one fourth of the time they have accrued during their tenure at the lab. The money to pay vacation time comes out of a different pot from the money for regular salaries; as a result, Nuckolls figures the lab can "save" almost $30 million in operating funds by paying people from the account reserved for vacation time. The catch, of course, is getting people to leave their work benches. Lab spokesperson Jean Madden says that, so far, people aren't complaining. In fact, she says, "I took six...

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