Ninety years ago, in August of 1931, physics professor Ernest Lawrence created the Radiation Laboratory in a modest building on the UC Berkeley campus to house his cyclotron, a particle accelerator that ushered in a new era in the study of subatomic particles. The invention of the cyclotron would go on to win Lawrence the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics.

From this start, Lawrence’s unique approach of bringing together multidisciplinary teams, world-class research facilities, and bold discovery science has fueled nine decades of pioneering research at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). His team science approach also grew into today’s national laboratory system.

Over the years, as Berkeley Lab’s mission expanded to cover a remarkable range of science, this approach has delivered countless solutions to challenges in energy, environment, materials, biology, computing, and physics.

And this same approach will continue to deliver breakthroughs for decades to come.

In 2021, Berkeley Lab’s 90th year, we invite you to join our anniversary celebration, Berkeley Lab: The Next 90, as we celebrate our past and imagine our future.

“The pursuit of discovery science by multidisciplinary teams has brought, and will continue to bring, tremendous benefits to the nation and world,” said Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell. “Our celebration is a chance to honor everyone who has contributed to solving human problems through science, and to imagine what we can accomplish together in the next 90 years.”

Berkeley Lab’s 90th anniversary celebration honors the diverse efforts of the Lab community: from scientists and engineers to administrative and operations staff.

It also celebrates our commitment to discovery science, which explores the fundamental underpinnings of the universe, materials, biology, and more. This research requires patience — the dividends can be decades in the future — but the results are often surprising and profound, from the cyclotron of yesteryear to today’s CRISPR-Cas9 genetic engineering technology.

It’s an incredible story we’re proud to share, and inspired to continue with your support. Over the next several months, we’ll offer many ways to join our celebration. Visit Berkeley Lab: The Next 90 to learn more, and engage with us on Twitter at #BerkeleyLab90.

Here are several ways to join our celebration, all highlighted on the website:

Celebrate the past 

90 Breakthroughs: To celebrate Berkeley Lab’s nine decades of transforming discovery science into solutions that benefit the world, we’ll roll out 90 Berkeley Lab breakthroughs over the next several months.

Interactive Timeline: Explore the Lab’s many remarkable achievements and events through the decades.

History and photos: Check out our decade-by-decade photo album and historical material.

Imagine the Future

Charitable giving: In 2021, Berkeley Lab will support five non-profit organizations that help prepare young scholars to become leaders and problem solvers.

Basics 2 Breakthroughs: Research at Berkeley Lab often starts with basic science, which leads to breakthroughs that help the world. In this video series, early career scientists discuss their game-changing research — and what inspires them.

A Day in the Half Life: This podcast series chronicles the incredible and often unexpected ways that science evolves over time, as told by scientists who helped shape a research field, and those who will bring it into the future.

Speaker series: These monthly lectures offer a look at game-changing scientific breakthroughs of the last 90 years, highlight current research aimed at tackling the nation’s most pressing challenges, and offer a glimpse into future research that will spur discoveries yet to be made.


Virtual tours: These live, interactive tours will enable you to learn more about Berkeley Lab’s research efforts, hear from the scientists who conduct this important work, and peek inside our amazing facilities.

Social media: Join us on social media for fun and engaging content that will help you discover the Lab’s incredible history, and learn what we’re imagining for the future. #BerkeleyLab90.

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Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 14 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit