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From big science to big business

Image: Image Editor [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

With the right help, Europe’s science facilities can be innovation powerhouses

In 1929, physicist Ernest Orlando Lawrence at the University of California, Berkeley, developed the cyclotron, one of the first particle accelerators. His invention, however, coincided with the Great Depression, and many research philanthropies were cutting funding for basic research.

But money for medical research was less constrained, and the cyclotron’s ability to make radioactive isotopes at unprecedented rates piqued the interest of foundations seeking cancer treatments.

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