Berkeley Lab Media Advisory
For Information, Contact: For Immediate Release
Ron Kolb: 510-486-7586, May 10, 2006

Berkeley Lab Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary in 2006

Since the day in late August of 1931 when young physics genius Ernest Orlando Lawrence was granted access to an old wooden building on the University of California campus in Berkeley to house his particle accelerator invention, the world of science has been transformed. And Lawrence’s scientific progeny, conducting 75 years of seminal research in a variety of fields, have contributed greatly to that transformation.

The legacy of Lawrence and his successors – who include nine other Nobel Laureates, scores of National Academy of Science members, and thousands of others who contributed to the institution’s international reputation – is being honored this year by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The celebration features talks, exhibits and a family-and-friends picnic on “Founders Day” (August 26). Although these activities are not open to the general public, we invite members of the news media to join us at any or all of them.

A special web site has been created – – that includes historical information, a complete listing of activities, and a developing 12-part series (one chapter per month) tracing Berkeley Lab’s distinguished past.

The Founders Day picnic takes place on the same day that in 1931 University of California President Robert Gordon Sproul turned over the vacant Civil Engineering building on the Berkeley campus to Lawrence to house his new creation, the cyclotron. Included during the day will be tours, entertainment, special talks and films, children’s activities, and the burial of a time capsule that will be sealed for opening on the 100th anniversary of the Lab in 2031. Attendees will be urged to attend in the costumes of the 1930’s, and classic cars will trace the development of the automobile since Lawrence’s time.

The Summer Lecture Series, an annual tradition at Berkeley Lab, will devote its entire six-lecture program this year to the anniversary. Beginning with physicist Richard Muller and his talk on the disappearing dinosaurs on June 30, the series will include one of the Lab’s surviving Nobelists, Don Glaser; former Lab Director Andy Sessler (1973-80); recent Fermi Award winner Art Rosenfeld, who founded Berkeley Lab’s respected energy efficiency research program; biologist Tom Budinger, who was among the contributors to the Lab’s pioneering nuclear medicine work; and Darleane Hoffman, a much-decorated nuclear scientist whose experiences include work on some of the 14 chemical elements on the periodic table discovered at Berkeley Lab.