Celebrating the Beckman Center’s 
First 25 Years


The year 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at CHF. Home to CHF’s fellowship program and the heart of academic programming within the organization, the Beckman Center has provided funding for over 200 fellows working on the history of science, technology, medicine, and industry. Despite its relative youth, the Beckman Center is now the largest source of non–university based fellowships for historians of science in the United States.

Of the many Beckman Centers—centers for science- and medicine-related pursuits funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation—CHF’s Beckman Center is the only one that takes history as its mission. As such, it provides support to scholars whose work addresses the relationships between science and society, focusing on issues of education, politics, and culture. This interdisciplinary work influences humanities scholarship more broadly but also promises to powerfully and usefully inform the future of science—its ethics, its politics, and its social dimensions.


Evan Ragland

“The long-term scholars in residence here have enriched my knowledge and shaped and refined the contours of my work.” (2009–2011 Edelstein Fellow Evan Ragland)

Alumni of the Beckman Center can be found around the globe. They are active members of an international scholarly community. Among their number, one can find distinguished authors of both popular and academic texts, university professors, teachers at secondary schools, and people involved in policy, journalism, and business. The Beckman Center is proud to have hosted them and expects that the next 25 years will be equally dynamic and successful.


“I have been in many institutes, libraries, and archives, and the working environment at CHF is among the finest I’ve enjoyed.” (2006–2007 Neville Fellow Brigitte Van Tiggelen)


Links, News, and Upcoming Events

Beckman Center Fellows

The Beckman Center’s fellows have come from all over the globe. Zoom out, move around the map, and click on any of the markers to find the home institutions from which fellows came to us.

View in a larger map

About Arnold O. Beckman

The Beckman Center was established in 1987 with a generous grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Between 1988 and 2012 the Beckman Center has hosted 178 fellows from 19 countries. In the last decade alone the center has devoted $2,474,500 to the support of fellows pursuing independent research on the history of chemistry and on the humanistic and social studies of science and industry.

For more on Arnold Beckman’s distinguished career in chemistry, click here.


Arnold O. Beckman

CHF’s Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry was started with a generous grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 1987.


Brown Bag Lecture Series

Enjoy a bring-your-own brown-bag lunch while listening to CHF scholars share their research.

Sensing Change

See your environment with fresh eyes through this online exhibit.