Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), located in Long Island, New York,
is considered by scientists to be one of the most important
places for cutting-edge genetics research and for the free
exchange of ideas.
"To do good science just goes along with the place,"
says Eric Lander, professor
of biology at MIT and director of the Whitehead Institute's
Center for Genomic Research. "Cold Spring Harbor is
the mother lode, it's the source. It's the home
for all of us in the field. People hold scientific meetings
all over the place. But when scientists want to talk to
scientists—when you want to talk to the people who
really care about the field in a sense—you come to
Cold Spring Harbor, the home of DNA, the home of molecular
are the lifeblood of Cold Spring Harbor, bringing 5,000
scientists to the institution each year. But scientists
visiting the lab also
look forward to exchanging ideas
and information informally.
a feature of being a small institute where there is just
one dining hall and one bar—people do talk to each
other," says CSHL neuroscientist Tim Tully. "But
that’s not apart from meetings that are open to others
from all over the world. In all of these meetings there
is always a strong series of seminars given within the institutions.
I should think at Cold Spring Harbor there are maybe ten
seminars each week given by the individual research groups
themselves, or perhaps they have outside speakers. . . .
Communication is an absolutely key element in all science."