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The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies A refined and relaxing environment for sharing knowledge, for learning, and for growth, the Beckman Center is adja- cent to the University of California, Irvine (Figure 27). Made possible by gifts from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and the Irvine Company, the Beckman Center was originally conceived to serve and benefit the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council. Today it serves as a nexus for international collaboration in a wide range of intellectual pursuits dedicated to the advancements of science, medicine, engineering, and technology and the study of their social, economic, and environmental implications. The Beckman Center is also home to the offices of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The Beckman Center was specifically designed to accom- modate both short-term and long-term committee meetings, workshops, conferences, and symposia large and small. A variety of conference rooms and public spaces provide the flexibility to meet the needs of any size gathering and its agenda, including area for pre- function receptions, plenary sessions, lectures, breakout meetings, board meetings, and FIGURE 27 The fresh air and warm sunshine of the southern California coast invite guests to relax during breaks on the patios, terraces, and balconies, which have been designed in dining and social activities. Each harmony with the center's natural environment. Courtesy of the Beckman Center of the conference room has its own National Academies. private terrace or balcony where attendees can enjoy the near-perfect California weather during breaks, ensuring each meeting is as pleasant as it is productive. One wing of the first floor of the Beckman Center is home to a special historical exhibit sponsored by the Foundation in honor of Dr. Beckman's revolutionary tools. As Dr. Beckman said, "I've done more for science in general by making instruments available for thousands to use than what I could do in my own laboratory by myself." INSTRUMENTATION FOR A BETTER TOMORROW 63
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With colorful illustrations, striking period photographs, and a lively narrative, the exhibit showcases the broad impact that Arnold Beckman's development has had on science and society. The exhibit traces the roots of scientific instrumentation from antiquity through alchemy to the first chemical revolution--brought about by Boyle and Lavoisier with their systematic approach to measuring and controlling the processes of chemical reactions. The exhibit even includes several of the original instruments first developed by Arnold Beckman, including the pH meter and the DU spectrophotometer. As the exhibit concludes, Across his long life, the world in which Arnold O. Beckman has lived was radically changed through the development of science and technology. Arnold O. Beckman was no passive observer of these profound changes. Through his leadership, Beckman's firms helped to create the new technological "ages" that reshaped life in the twentieth century. The Beckman Center is an appropriate and lasting element of the legacy that Arnold O. Beckman gifted society. As the venue for the "Instrumentation for a Better Tomorrow" symposium, it was perfect. 64 INSTRUMENTATION FOR A BETTER TOMORROW
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