Bridging Divides: The Origins of the Beckman Institute at Illinois

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University of Illinois Press, Aug 27, 2009 - Architecture - 128 pages
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Bridging Divides offers a first-hand account of the origins of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign devoted to leading-edge research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience._x000B__x000B_The book follows the progress of the Beckman Institute's creation, from the initial conceptualization of a large, multi-disciplinary institute; through proposal formulation; to the architectural design and actual construction of its state-of-the-art building, made possible by the largest gift made to any public university at the time: a $40 million contribution from Illinois alumnus and founder of Beckman Instruments, Inc., Arnold O. Beckman and his wife Mabel M. Beckman._x000B__x000B_Theodore L. Brown, the founding director of the Beckman Institute, brings an insider's personal perspective on its conception and its early operations. The evolution of a physical facility that matched a developing sense of what multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research might be was a vital ingredient in the Institute's development. In addition, because the Institute represented a dramatic departure from traditional university organization, many challenges involving its administration and faculty had to be overcome. _x000B__x000B_A celebration of the Beckman Institute's first twenty years of operation since the building's completion in 1989, Bridging Divides provides an informative look back at the history of this groundbreaking interdisciplinary research center.

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1 Forging the Proposal
The Institute Is Born
3 Building the Institute
4 Choosing Programs
5 The Institute Goes Public
6 Bringing the Institute to Life
Arnolds Last Years
APPENDIX 1 Letters of Appointment of Faculty Committees to Prepare Proposals
APPENDIX 2 Letters of Appointment of Program Adminsitrative and Steering Committees
APPENDIX 3 Instructions for Proposal Submission

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About the author (2009)

Theodore L. Brown is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Founding Director Emeritus of the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. From 1980 to 1986, he served as Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School there. He is co-author of the best-selling chemistry textbook Chemistry: The Central Science, now in its 11th edition from Prentice-Hall. Besides his scientific research publications, he is also the author of a previous study in the philosophy of science titled Making Truth: Metaphors in Science (2003).

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