It’s not often that the retirement of a federal bureaucrat meets with an effusion of regret that she’s leaving and praise for her soon-to-be-missed talents. But by many accounts Patricia Dehmer is no ordinary bureaucrat. So when Dehmer, 71, announced last week that she would step down on 10 November after 9 years as deputy director for science programs in the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) $5.35 billion Office of Science in Washington, D.C., many observers were eager to sing her praises and lament her coming departure.
“It’s an enormous loss, not just for Department of Energy, but for the whole scientific community,” says William Madia, vice president at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, for DOE’s neighboring SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, which the university manages.
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