Last October, for the first time in more than a decade, Berkeley Lab opened its doors to the public in an event that was met with overwhelming enthusiasm by Lab and community members alike.
More than 5,000 Bay Area residents took advantage of the opportunity to tour Laboratory facilities, hear lectures by award-winning scientists, interact with hands-on exhibits, and take scenic walks around the hill where scientific history has been made. Arriving by bus, car and on foot, both young and old got a first-hand look at the wide range of scientific activities going on at Berkeley Lab. From the Advanced Light Source (ALS), to the far reaches of the the Human Genome Center and the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), volunteers shared their expertise and enthusiasm to make science accessible to our visitors.
By all accounts it worked. Community response was overwhelmingly positive. Visitors reported that it was exciting, informative, and exceeded their expectations. One respondent simply summed it up as "cool!"
"Cool" it was, from the electronic petting zoo, where children were encouraged to take screwdrivers to piles of old electronic components at the ALS, to NCEM, where participants sat down at the controls of the world's largest microscope.
Visitors everywhere were treated to an extraordinary display of the scientific wonder often taken for granted in our day-to-day work. Lab employees, who for months dedicated enormous time and energy to the event, were rewarded by enthusiasm and inquisitiveness. All in all, the day was a resounding success.