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100 years exploring life, 1888-1988: the Marine Biological by Jane Maienschein

By Jane Maienschein

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Selected from all periods of the MBL's history, the illustrations attempt to show, in contemporary terms, the kind of scientific work, physical atmosphere, and personal relationships that existed in 1888, 1910, 1940, 1980. If a picture is worth a thousand words, Professor Maienschein has lengthened her text considerably by including this array of fascinating and informative illustrations. In conclusion, this institutional biography is written from the perspective that could only have been written by a professional historian who also has an extended and loving relationship with the MBL.

This rich diversity of scientists clearly goes beyond any self-conscious sense of unique national identity or externally imposed purpose. Rather, the MBL is a group of first-rate individual scientists, working in concert with their own goals. These goals converge on producing the best biological research possible, so that the underlying purpose is one of advancing science. The MBL is a haven for science and as such serves as a special resource, nationally and internationally. It is more a valuable treasure than a national laboratory in the most familiar and limited sense.

Page 5 Lillie Auditorium during the 1940s, with director Charles Packard sitting in the center background. MBL Archives. Charles Otis Whitman, first director of the MBL and architect of its form of governance of, by, and for the scientists. MBL Archives. Page 6 working in the lab. Some people drive in from their cottages, often transporting those whose age has made them feel no longer comfortable walking the familiar distance at night. Bicycles roll up carrying young researchers, students, and maybe even a few teenagers.

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