The true personality of a large scientific organization can sometimes be hard to glimpse — after all, science can often be complicated and esoteric and large organizations as a whole can sometimes feel anonymous. But even large organizations are, at their root, just a group of people, each with unique stories about how their backgrounds, experience, talents and dreams contribute to larger success and societal impact.
As the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory celebrates its 75th anniversary, a group of employees from every corner of the lab — from the public address announcer to battery chemists to glassblowers — have come together to share their stories as part of a new audio series called Argonne Voices.
“We explore the diversity of the lab and show how it has evolved as a scientific powerhouse.” — Johnathon Briggs, Argonne Voices executive producer
Argonne Voices is a series of intimate, one-on-one conversations between employees who share special relationships that have helped Argonne to create discoveries that have improved everyday life.
“Over the course of 75 years, different communities have emerged at Argonne,” said Johnathon Briggs, an Argonne communications professional who is the executive producer of the project. “We have employees who have a wide range of experience and knowledge. We tap these experiences with the laboratory’s many communities to explore the diversity of the lab and show how it has evolved as a scientific powerhouse.”
Having scientists and others at the laboratory talk about their personal history as well as their technical and professional pursuits provides a glimpse of the influences behind the discoveries that Argonne makes possible, Briggs said. “The mission is obviously front of mind, but you also want to know about the people. Why did someone want to become a battery scientist or a particle physicist? The answers help illuminate the science.”
Sharing oral histories from around the lab highlights the human side of Argonne, according to Briggs. “The series shows the variety of ways that people bring their full selves to work,” he said. “The hope is that sparks the kind of radical empathy that brings people closer to the scientific community, creating a stronger internal community while letting the world know what it’s like to work at Argonne.”
Argonne Voices can be seen and heard at https://www.anl.gov/75th-anniversary/argonne-voices.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’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, visit https://energy.gov/science.