Nov
22

Today in Smithsonian History: November 22, 1986

The Radiation Biology Laboratory in Rockville, Md., ca. 1975

The Radiation Biology Laboratory in Rockville, Md., ca. 1975

November 22, 1986 The Environmental Research Center, formerly known as the Radiation Biology Laboratory, closes in Rockville, Maryland. Some of the Lab’s functions will continue at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center facility in Edgewater, Maryland.

The history of the Radiation Biology Laboratory can be traced to May 1, 1929, when the Division of Radiation and Organisms was established by Secretary Charles G. Abbot to undertake investigations of the effect of solar radiation on living organisms. In 1941, the Division was administratively placed under the Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory.On February 16, 1965, the Division of Radiation and Organisms was abolished. Its work was continued by the newly established Radiation Biology Laboratory. The research program at RBL was three-pronged: regulatory biology, or how sunlight regulates growth and development of biological organisms; solar radiation measurements; and carbon dating. In 1970, RBL relocated to Rockville, Maryland.

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives


Posted: 22 November 2017
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