Skip Navigation

ORAU History - 1973

The Oak Ridge Population Research Institute held its inaugural conference, “The World Population Problem,” March 4-6, 1973, with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) as its cosponsor. The conference provided researchers in reproductive biology with an up-to-date assessment of the growth of human population and efforts toward its control. Attendees included reproductive biologists, ecologists, and those who taught population-related and demography courses at colleges and universities.

The Training and Technology (TAT) Program became known as the Manpower Development Division on July 1, 1973. The new division operated three programs: the Manpower, Research and Development (now known as Science Education and Workforce Development Programs); Training and Technology; and Upgrading (Employee Advancement) Program activities. The Manpower, Research, and Development group developed and worked to establish industrial training programs modeled after TAT across the country.

Evelyn Watson

Evelyn Watson, director of the Radiation Internal Dose Information Center (RIDIC) until 1994, delivered many lectures on mathematical models of the pregnant woman. These models are used to determine the radiation dose a fetus would receive if a mother undergoes diagnosis or treatment using a nuclear medicine.

The final year of administering the AEC Special Fellowships programs was 1973; Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) published a final report titled, “Scientists and Engineers for the Nuclear Age,” to cover the 25 years of fellowships from 1948 to 1973.

Also concluding in 1973 were ORAU’s basic radioisotope techniques courses that were initiated in 1948. These courses provided training for several thousand scientists representing a variety of disciplines in the United States and the world. Combined with the early availability of reactor produced isotopes from ORNL, the four-week courses were an important element in the extremely rapid and widespread adoption of the radioactive tracer in basic and applied science. Declining enrollment indicated that the mission of the courses had been fulfilled.

In 1973, the Special Training Division (now referred to as Radiation Sciences Training) developed and field-tested a program—Citizens’ Workshops on Energy and the Environment—intended to heighten public awareness and knowledge of the energy-environment interrelationship. The three-part program, conducted in major science museums around the country, was inaugurated in Boston, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., during its first year, and 43 visits were planned for the next year. The program featured a slide show, a game session, and a laboratory exercise.

The cytogenetics program (now known as the Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory) began in 1973 several studies of normal and malignant cell chromosomes using special fluorescence staining techniques. The work revealed that female leukemic blood cells have fluorescing bodies that would interfere with determining the sex of the cell; this observation emphasized that interphase fluorescence should not be used as the sole criterion for estimating the percentage of male and female nuclei in a mixed population of normal and neoplastic cells.

In 1973, the cytogenetics program completed work on one of the largest studies of frequencies of chromosome breakage ever conducted by a single laboratory at the time. More than 83,000 cells from 997 lymphocyte cultures from control men and women, pregnant women, and women taking oral contraceptives were evaluated to determine the effects of synthetic compounds on chromosomes.