Skip Navigation

ORAU History - 1949

The Medical Division and the University Relations Division (now known as the University Partnerships Office) were formally organized and staffed in 1949. Dr. Marshall Brucer became the first chairman of the Medical Division.

In January 1949, the Medical Division accepted the first foreign students for radioisotope training. The first attendees were Dr. P. S. Krishnan, India, and Dr. K. Aterman, England.

The Educational Services Division was set up, initially, to open a museum that would function as a public education program. The American Museum of Atomic Energy, later renamed the American Museum of Science and Energy, was opened on March 19, 1949, under the operating responsibility of the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS).

In less than four months, more than 15,000 visitors from across the United States and from 25 foreign countries visited the new museum. The American Museum of Science and Energy has been welcoming visitors and science students to Oak Ridge ever since and is now located adjacent to the ORAU main campus.

Mechanical hands light Marie “The Body” McDonald’s cigarette

Mechanical hands light Marie “The Body” McDonald’s cigarette at the American Museum of Atomic Energy opening in March 1949. ORINS operated the museum as part of a public education program on atomic energy.

Construction of the ORINS Cancer Research Hospital began on June 25, 1949. The 30-bed hospital and laboratory were completed in 1950, and the first patient was accepted for treatment on May 15. The first patients accepted by the division were those afflicted with diseases for which there was already an established backlog of experience in the therapeutic use of radioisotopes. The major energies of the staff were devoted to investigating new types of isotope treatment.

In April 1949, the Oak Ridge Traveling Lecture Program was begun to make the lecture services of Oak Ridge scientists available on university campuses.