Mailed 2/18/97


Upton, NY -- Robert P. Crease, Brookhaven National Laboratory's historian and a professor of philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, will give a lecture entitled, "How Big Science Came to Long Island: The Birth of BNL," on Wednesday, March 19, at 4 p.m. in the Laboratory's Berkner Hall. The talk, one of a series of events held throughout the year to celebrate the Laboratory's beginning a half-century ago, is open to the public free of charge.

The talk will be the 325th in the Brookhaven Lecture Series, which was established in 1960 by former BNL scientist Gertrude Goldhaber. The primary purpose of the Brookhaven lectures is to acquaint Laboratory employees and guests with significant research programs at BNL.
Professor Crease's talk will cover the founding of the Laboratory soon after World War II, as a peacetime facility that would construct and maintain basic research instruments, such as nuclear reactors and particle accelerators, that were too large in scale for single institutions to build and operate. He will discuss the key figures involved in the founding of the Laboratory, including Nobel laureates I.I. Rabi and Norman Ramsey, as well as Donald Dexter Van Slyke, one of the most renowned medical researchers in American history.

In addition, he will review the construction of the Lab's first research instruments: the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor, the Cosmotron, the 3.5-million-volt Research Van de Graaff accelerator, and the 60-inch cyclotron. He will also discuss the Laboratory's early relationship with the community and the news media.

With a B.A. from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Robert P. Crease joined the faculty at SUNY Stony Brook in 1987, and, in 1989, he began working part-time as the historian for Brookhaven Lab. He has recently completed a book on the early years of Brookhaven for Chicago University Press, which is due to be published within the year.

Professor Crease's books include The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics, and The Play of Nature: Experimentation as Performance. He is a former contributing correspondent for Science, and, for the past eight years, Professor Crease has written the "Overview" article for the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future. Recently, Professor Crease finished collaborating with noted theoretical physicist Robert Serber on the latter's memoirs for Columbia University Press.

For more information on the lecture, call Brookhaven's Public Affairs Office at (516)344-2345. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 on the Long Island Expressway.

Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic and applied research in physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. Associated Universities, Inc., a nonproft research management organization, operates the Laboratory under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.