Scientists have worked continuously in Forest Hills for more than one hundred years. The National Bureau of Standards campus opened in 1903, and some of its employees found they liked living here too. Though the agency moved to the suburbs in the 1970s, other scientific endeavors were well under way. And they continue to this day.
In June 1907, Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory opened at 2801 Upton Street, now home to the Levine School of Music. The laboratory moved to Broad Branch Road. Carnegie’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism has been at 5241 Broad Branch since 1914. The two departments merged in 2020 to form the Earth and Planets Laboratory.
2020 also brought an unwelcome change. Each year, the Carnegie Institution invites the community to free neighborhood lectures at the Broad Branch campus that truly bring the otherworldly down to earth. However, the spring 2020 lectures had to be canceled due to Covid-19.
The institution would go on to launch a well-attended virtual series. A spring 2021 lecture on exploring for diamonds had 300 live viewers, more than could fit in its Broad Branch auditorium.
The virtual lectures resume this fall. The first of the 2021-22 neighborhood lecture series will be Tuesday, September 28th at 6:30 p.m. Timothy Strobel will talk about how to change the freezing point of water and other curiosities. Register here for the Zoom link. Or watch it live on YouTube.
The next one, on Tuesday, October 26th, features Anat Shahar discussing what makes a planet habitable. Register here for the Zoom link.
The Carnegie Institution makes previous Broad Branch neighborhood lectures available on its YouTube channel.