The Linus Pauling Science Center

Artist's rendering of the Linus Pauling Science Center

Artist’s rendering of the Linus Pauling Science Center

Last Friday, September 25th, Oregon State University formally launched the construction of what will be the largest academic building on the OSU campus – the Linus Pauling Science Center.  Scheduled for completion in Spring 2011, the Pauling Science Center is a centerpiece of the on-going Campaign for OSU.

The crowd assembled on the west edge of campus for the launching ceremony.

The crowd assembled on the west edge of campus for the launching ceremony.

Linus Pauling’s extraordinary career was defined in large part by his ability to synthesize scientific details across disciplines.  His revolutionary work on the nature of the chemical bond, for example, involved at its core the marriage of the new physics – quantum mechanics, which Pauling studied as it was being developed by the great European scientists of the early and mid-1920s – with chemistry’s quest to understand how atoms bind together to form molecules.

The ambition of the Linus Pauling Science Center is, in a sense, to follow a similar model by bringing the entire faculty of the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) under the same roof as the OSU Department of Chemistry, as well as students and researchers in both the physical and life sciences.  LPI Director Balz Frei, speaking at the launch ceremony, suggested that the completion of the building promises to be a “seismic event” for work in the sciences at OSU.  And in a recent issue of the LPI research newsletter, Frei had this to say about the Institute’s aims for their new space.

Our goal is to have five laboratories in each of the three major areas of research in the Institute: cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, cancer chemoprotection, and healthy aging. We also continue to expand our outreach efforts, including the Micronutrient Information Center, which provides free, scientifically accurate information on vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and certain foods and beverages. We would like to enhance these efforts to educate people about the important role of diet and lifestyle and supplements in disease prevention, which is becoming increasingly urgent as healthcare costs continue to increase. We plan to get involved in school programs to encourage kids to exercise more and eat healthily, and we are in the process of setting up a study in older adults to investigate the beneficial effects of specific lifestyle changes in maintaining health.

Dr. Balz Frei, Director of the Linus Pauling Institute, at the launch ceremonies.

Dr. Balz Frei, Director of the Linus Pauling Institute, at the launch ceremonies.

OSU President Ed Ray.

OSU President Dr. Ed Ray.

George Pernsteiner, Chancellor of the Oregon University System.

George Pernsteiner, Chancellor of the Oregon University System.

This will not be the first building named for Linus Pauling.  In 1951 the Centro de Estudos Linus Pauling was christened at what was then known as the Universidade do Recife in Brazil.  A different Linus Pauling Study Center was dedicated in Santiago, Chile in 1992.  Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California is home to Linus and Ava Helen Pauling Hall; Caltech has named a lecture hall after Pauling in its Gates Laboratory of Chemistry; Corvallis boasts of Linus Pauling Middle School; and we have recently received word of a Linus Pauling Hospital being built in Madagascar!

Logo used by the Chilean Linus Pauling Study Center.

Logo used by the Chilean Linus Pauling Study Center.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times has more on the launch celebration, including a description of the commemorative beam signing that closed the event.

2 Responses

  1. […] is the Linus Pauling Science Center construction webcam.  In late September 2009, we covered the ground breaking ceremony for $62.5 million building project, and what was at that time a big hole in the ground is now […]

  2. […] were there when ground was broken in September 2009.  Now, just over two years later, it was our great pleasure to attend the grand opening of the […]

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