Lab museum closes doors to documentary

Lab museum closes doors to documentary

There are 10 comments on the The Santa Fe New Mexican story from Nov 1, 2008, titled Lab museum closes doors to documentary. In it, The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that:

Photo: Los Alamos National Laboratory is refusing to allow two New Mexico filmmakers to make a documentary inside the taxpayer-supported Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Frank Ettenberg

Vienna, Austria

#1 Nov 2, 2008
This is a great case study on the pros and cons of a so-called democracy. It does speak to the fact there are many degrees of openness to access to information. It becomes really debateable when a system-wide shrinking is in place, making access to information more and more difficult. Thus, the ability of the public to make informed decisions in our day and age becomes increasingly difficult when there's both a shrunken desire to find out the facts and a tendency to officially disallow the dissemination of whatever kind of information. the Lab in Los Alamos has had an
institutional unwillingness to provide infos
about its whys and wherefores, without exacting the usual portfolio of so-called security clearances. In my opinion, it's about time to learn how to say yes to information gatherers of all stripes, as long as the lab spokespeople know that they
-the authories- are able to keep appropriate matters secret without any fear of being compromised.

Santa Fe, NM

#2 Nov 2, 2008
Los Alamos has "buried its head in the sand" for years refusing to acknowledge the suffering and pain they have caused with their wholly economic self-interest. LANL consistantly plays the obstructionsist obfuscating the facts and statistics, making false calims of clean-up and refusing to provide proper information to the public. Why should this slight to the public be a suprise to anyone? Having LANL as a neighbor is like living next to a pig farm -- mostly pork and the smell of hog ****.

“NM Cajun looking forward”

Since: Oct 08

Santa Fe/Los Alamos

#3 Nov 2, 2008
ok here I go...I live in Los Alamos and Santa Fe..

this means I am constantly in conversation about the benefits of one and then the other.

Let me make it very clear that there is a Los Alamos National Laboratory (now run by Bechtal) and a community of Los Alamos. They are two very different entities.

The Bradberry is a needed function to give an education to a certain point in the history of the United States..individuals can obviously get this education and mass media can ruthers are that they make a film of the museum and make the film available..what this has happened? of course it has and it is not satisfactory to the democratic process.

Every finacial cycle the Lab has to get funding for their current science projects. The fact that they have this piece of history to say "We were once the best in the world in science"(due to the development of the bomb.)...we therefore deserve more funding for xyz..

Since the museum is used as this piece of educating for funds , they are going to present the information the way they want it... we live in a democracy...there are many buildings in Los Alamos that are for sale and if someone wants to present another point of view they have the right to...

...just saying I have not seen where we do not get an economic building project thrown out for point of view...
Hokey Pokey

Albuquerque, NM

#4 Nov 2, 2008
It's a tax-payer funded museum. LANL should have absolutely no jurisdiction over what gets filmed in the Bradbury and what doesn't.
Milton Deemer

Albuquerque, NM

#5 Nov 2, 2008
As is usually the case, there are two sides to this issue. It is perfectly responsible for the museum to ask the filmmakers to supply certain basic information and to prove they are a legitimate organization. Something that should be easy to do if they are a limited liability corporation as they name indicates. At the same time, the filmmakers have every right to use the museum's facilities to produce their work because it accepts public funding. Surely some mutual agreement can be worked out.


#6 Nov 2, 2008
I wonder if they will include the atrocities committed by Japanese troops. China plus other countries have never had a proper appology and compensation for their nationals.

Since: Nov 08

northern New Mexico

#7 Nov 2, 2008
In 1986 or so the Lab had a chance to convert the museum into a leading museum in the documentation, interpretation, and science of a unique science community. They opted instead to continue the museum as a showcase for funding. Katherine ( ) is correct.

The premise of the documentary would be interesting if it were about nuclear museums (plural) and also an important science project (how do "nuclear" museums represent their communities?). Nevertheless, publicly funded institutions in the US have a responsibility to allow the public to use their information, including filming.

The culture of science at Los Alamos and science as a culture (illustrated by Los Alamos) is a critical and still undone analysis. Looks like another 25 years is needed before the Lab is at the point of courage (and relevance) they were once.

Huntsville, AL

#8 Nov 2, 2008
Excellent concept for a film, instead of the predictable ones we've seen many times.

LANL once again missed a great opportunity to shift public opinion.(Something you're not quite so interested in when you get billions every year in funding from Congress.)

Having written grants for filmmakers, I agree this gang could have shared their granting sources or at least (and perhaps they did?) made a serious effort to give an equitable narrative and funding summary to EACH site they filmed at. If they did and LANL is the only site that refused, perhaps the ACLU should get involved. This feels like a FOIA issue on some level..though I am no expert.

This concept is captivating visually and from a story-telling point of view. LANL consistently drops the ball and then gets slammed in the press on little things like this, that a wiser Com dept would have seen opportunity in. Yes we know LANL built, builds and focuses on nukes. But actually the Lab does do great community giving and science programming across NM. Who'd know it though?

Instead we hear about the petty refusals for filming at a taxpayer-funded museum, and it just confirms the public's mistrust & repulsion. It comes down to what is the Lab trying to hide by not particpating in this project?

Don't all those PHD's up there need thoughtful, accurate and compelling museum exhibits too?

United States

#9 Nov 2, 2008
Ah, the great emerald city! Oz just never wants the curtain pulled back on its fake show does it? Congratulations to Bud and Stuart for trying. I wonder how many trillions of dollars have gone down that rat hole.
peace from Santa Fe

Los Alamos, NM

#10 Nov 3, 2008
My guess is, the Lab is afraid that the filmmakers have the same one-sidedness that the Lab is accused of having - just from the different side. Meaning that the filmmakers aren't at the museum to highlight the "community giving and science programming" and national security science and other science done - but to spank the lab for not advocating for peace as is probably quite the focus in Hiroshima. I agree that it'd be most interesting if the filmmakers clearly had a balanced agenda themselves - then it'd be harder for the lab to resist.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

The Santa Fe New Mexican Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Judge refuses to split charges in sex solicitat... Sep '16 The Truth 1
News Home sweet home school (Dec '08) Sep '16 Mr Coach 8
Memory Lane - only for Real Santa Feans (Oct '08) Sep '16 ljc 2,213
News New jury system aims to ease burden of duty (Sep '09) Sep '16 Jeanne Scripps 5
News Echoes of the past still haunt Pojoaque's Line ... (Jun '09) Aug '16 Char 42
News Wind energy sweeps plains; course correction in... (Jan '09) Jul '16 bpayne37 21
News Former astronaut scoffs at global warming (Feb '09) Jul '16 Into The Night 2,406
More from around the web