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Jens
2011-Nov-11, 04:03 AM
Just a fairly simple question, but I wonder what people feel are the most famous/prestigious public non-university scientific research institutions in the world. I'm not so much looking for a comprehensive list but rather at what individual people feel are the most famous. So if one person says "Laboratory A," then I'd still be happy to have another person say "I agree that Laboratory A is the most prestigious."

PraedSt
2011-Nov-11, 04:21 AM
Non-university might be a bit hard. The one's I've got in my head are MIT and the Cavendish Lab, but the former's a university and the latter is part of one.

Trebuchet
2011-Nov-11, 04:37 AM
CERN.

Jens
2011-Nov-11, 05:05 AM
Yes, CERN for sure. I wonder, as a serious question, how much of its fame among the general public is thanks to a certain movie.

grapes
2011-Nov-11, 05:47 AM
Whatever happened to Bell Labs?

geonuc
2011-Nov-11, 06:18 AM
The US Department of Energy National Laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Oak Ridge, Etc. There are quite a few others in the group.

ETA: Also NIST - the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Jens
2011-Nov-11, 06:19 AM
Whatever happened to Bell Labs?

It wouldn't fit the criteria. I wrote, "public non-university scientific research institutions." So I wasn't thinking of private organizations.

Jens
2011-Nov-11, 06:20 AM
The US Department of Energy National Laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Oak Ridge, Etc. There are quite a few others in the group.

Yes. Do you see them all as basically equivalent, or would you rank some as more famous than others?

geonuc
2011-Nov-11, 06:21 AM
Yes. Do you see them all as basically equivalent, or would you rank some as more famous than others?

I added NIST above.

I see Lawrence Livermore as maybe the most famous. Not sure why. Also, Los Alamos.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-11, 06:27 AM
I'd say Los Alamos is far more famous to a non-scientist that Lawrence Livermore. In that I'm reasonably sure that better than 90% of non-scientists have heard of Los Alamos.

Jens
2011-Nov-11, 06:43 AM
I'd say Los Alamos is far more famous to a non-scientist that Lawrence Livermore. In that I'm reasonably sure that better than 90% of non-scientists have heard of Los Alamos.

Thanks, and I've heard that too. I guess it's primarily because of the association with the Manhattan Project? I read somewhere that Los Alamos and Oak Ridge are the most famous of the DoE labs in the US because of the a-bomb work.

geonuc
2011-Nov-11, 07:05 AM
I agree with Gillian. For non-scientific folks, Los Alamos is by far the most famous and yes, because of the Manhattan Project. It also occasionally crops up in the news because of continued nuclear weapons work. Oak Ridge was a big weapons lab, too. I'm not sure it still is.

grapes
2011-Nov-11, 10:30 AM
It wouldn't fit the criteria. I wrote, "public non-university scientific research institutions." So I wasn't thinking of private organizations.OK, that does narrow it down
Yes, CERN for sure. I wonder, as a serious question, how much of its fame among the general public is thanks to a certain movie.Wasn't NCAR in a Woody Allen movie? :)

swampyankee
2011-Nov-11, 11:18 AM
von Karman Institute.

SIPRI

Nick Theodorakis
2011-Nov-11, 11:58 AM
National Institutes of Health.
Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole).
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
(arguably the latter two are private, I guess)

Strange
2011-Nov-11, 12:10 PM
RIKEN :)

AndreH
2011-Nov-11, 03:27 PM
The first that sprung to my mind in the US were Lawrence Livermore, JPL and Oak Ridge, and the IBM lab in New Haven. So IBM does not count because private. For the rest I am not sure if they are parts of Universities or not.
In Europe for sure CERN, also DESY (home of the LEP) in Hamburg, Germany.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-11, 06:39 PM
In my mind (and I've toured the facility a number of times), JPL isn't really a research institution. They're much closer to being a government contractor. They are assuredly not part of any university, but if I remember the history correctly, they've never been either entirely public or entirely private, either.

grapes
2011-Nov-11, 06:54 PM
In my mind (and I've toured the facility a number of times), JPL isn't really a research institution. They're much closer to being a government contractor. They are assuredly not part of any university, but if I remember the history correctly, they've never been either entirely public or entirely private, either.A NASA research facility managed by Caltech, an Army facility at Caltech in WWII, but before WWII, it was purely Caltech.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-11, 07:45 PM
Right now, they're "the place paying for my friend's MBA." But you also have to realize that most of what I've seen on my tours of the facility is construction of one sort or another. I saw Hubble there. I saw them testing the Mars rovers in their parking lot, though at what stage of development I do not recall. And so forth.

Swift
2011-Nov-11, 11:33 PM
The US Department of Energy National Laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Oak Ridge, Etc. There are quite a few others in the group.

ETA: Also NIST - the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Good choices. I'd add National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO, but it probably isn't that famous except in the specific research area.

There are all the NASA labs: JPL, Marshall Space Flight Center, and of course our local NASA Glenn Research Center.

There are also some famous US military labs like the Naval Research Lab.

Going global, what about CNRS in France (the French National Laboratory system).

Though to the OP, most of these have university affiliations of varying degrees.

Jens
2011-Nov-12, 02:14 PM
RIKEN :)

Yes, that too. :)

Jens
2011-Nov-12, 02:22 PM
Right now, they're "the place paying for my friend's MBA." But you also have to realize that most of what I've seen on my tours of the facility is construction of one sort or another. I saw Hubble there. I saw them testing the Mars rovers in their parking lot, though at what stage of development I do not recall. And so forth.

I'm not sure how you define research, but I think a lot of it is construction. Just as an aside, I went to a party recently with some people working at CERN on antimatter research, and I asked what their job usually involves. One of the people told me that it's mostly welding things together to make instruments. So I would definitely consider JPL.

Jens
2011-Nov-12, 02:25 PM
Going global, what about CNRS in France (the French National Laboratory system).

Though to the OP, most of these have university affiliations of varying degrees.

Yes, CNRS for sure. I didn't want to eliminate institutions with any kind of university affiliation, but rather to eliminate universities per se. For example, JPL is fine with me even if it's managed by Caltech.

grapes
2011-Nov-12, 02:59 PM
The US Department of Energy National Laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Oak Ridge, Etc. There are quite a few others in the group.

ETA: Also NIST - the National Institute of Standards and TechnologyFermilab is also a DOE National Lab, even though it is run by University of Chicago. Big competitor of CERN, right?

kamaz
2011-Nov-12, 03:42 PM
Germany has Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Actually, these are networks of institutes.

France, in addition to CNRS institutes also has CEA institutes.

Acreo in Sweden. VTT in Finland. IMEC in Belgium.

swampyankee
2011-Nov-12, 05:13 PM
DLR (Germany)

AGARD (NATO)

NLR (the Netherlands)

Bell Labs disappeared thanks to the breakup of the Bell System in the mid-1980s.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-12, 06:34 PM
I'm not sure how you define research, but I think a lot of it is construction. Just as an aside, I went to a party recently with some people working at CERN on antimatter research, and I asked what their job usually involves. One of the people told me that it's mostly welding things together to make instruments. So I would definitely consider JPL.

For me, it depends on who designed the thing, and to be honest, I don't know if they designed the things at JPL that I saw them building there. Just doing construction work isn't research, so far as I'm concerned. It's the people who create and the people who use the finished product.

AndreH
2011-Nov-14, 01:10 PM
For me, it depends on who designed the thing, and to be honest, I don't know if they designed the things at JPL that I saw them building there. Just doing construction work isn't research, so far as I'm concerned. It's the people who create and the people who use the finished product.

Bold mine

That depends, I would say. Very often you have iterations. Make the drawing, do the prototype, test it, get proposals for improvement from the guys who did the construction work, go back to the drawing board, return to "test it". For me that is research, too.
And as Jens learned from the CERN people he met above. A big big part of research is "how to built the instrument" which is very often quite challenging. And the "how to" is very often studied by trial and error (on the small scale) rather than making a new bleu print every time.
In the early 90-ties I had two friends of mine doing their PhD at CERN. It often comes down to things like: "How do I make the soldering of that wire connected to that detector more reliable". Ofcourse it sounds totally different when it is written down. The problem might not be mentioned at all.

AndreH
2011-Nov-14, 01:13 PM
Germany has Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Actually, these are networks of institutes.

France, in addition to CNRS institutes also has CEA institutes.

Acreo in Sweden. VTT in Finland. IMEC in Belgium.

I second CNRS. I was thinking about Fraunhofer and MPI, but as you mentioned they are networks or societies with many institutes. I also htink they are not very well known outside of Germany, even though they play a big role here.

Substantia Innominata
2011-Nov-19, 04:01 AM
DLR (Germany)

Yes, although, much as in the already clarified cases of the Fraunhofer- and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, the DLR of course isn't made up of a single, centralized institute either. It comprises quite a few institutions scattered pretty much all over Germany and working in concert, ultimately forming the DLR. While certainly being directed and coordinated by specific headquarters, it is in fact a network of institutes, too.


I was thinking about Fraunhofer and MPI, but as you mentioned they are networks or societies with many institutes. I also think they are not very well known outside of Germany, even though they play a big role here.

The last assumption is definitely incorrect. ;) I have to object. Not least because some of their institutes aren't even located in Germany, even though the respective provider will always be found there. Clearly, I am not sufficently familiar with institutions of all the areas they're doing research in (there are so many!), perhaps most crucially, I personally do not even have a college/university background in the 'hard'/natural sciences, i.e. I do not hail from there or study it, consequently should not assess those, but, just as an example I am more familiar with: the MPI for Psycholinguistics of course you'll rather find in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and I'd suggest they're fairly known over there. (...well, at least as long as you ask the "right" people! :p ) Moreover the MPG operate one or two further institutions in Italy, but don't ask for names, you'd better look it up, and.. yes, there's "only" something about the arts or culture on my mind right now. Or was it art history? Whatever, something along the lines, it exists, it is abroad, and probably better known there, than it is in Germany. :D

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft don't operate facilities abroad, however. And when it comes to international status they may indeed be rather nondescript, I tend to agree here. (For all I know.) Concerning the MPG on the other hand, I opt to remain a tad more careful. Let's agree about the fact that this, at the end of the day, comes down to opinion mostly and depends much on one's own point of view, result it from actual expertise/profession or just one's personal interest/s. Anyway, as I mentioned, MPI/Psycholinguistics is a name you'll generally know in the respective field/s, and not only in the Netherlands & Germany for sure. This, I allege, holds still more concerning MPI Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig. Particularly in all matters of historical linguistics, you simply can't avoid them! If you only read the pertinent journals and papers, you've got the name in front of you routinely, and this, really, doesn't much depend on being from a certain country. Not today! Similar case, somewhat overlapping fields, same city (again, Leipzig): Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. My best guess is you wouldn't have to introduce it to someone coming from the field either, no matter where living. Note: None of these may count as world-class, or mega-prestige institutions, and I'm not claiming such! I'm really just making my case. ;) MPG cannot be a nonentity internationally, not when considering scientists or those in training, aka students. I hope we are not considering the general public!?

Okay, one more since it hasn't been mentioned yet, and wouldn't get mentioned otherwise. Again, no world-class probably, no mega-prestige certainly, but still 'knowable' and interesting to learn about at any rate. They deserve it: The Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI), Bremerhaven. I mean more or less the only (if indeed) better known institution in Germany doing research in oceanography, also field work. Their research icebreaker "Polarstern" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RV_Polarstern) is world-famous, I ask you. ;-) What's more: They're not private. Woods Hole, mentioned above, I'm afraid is. But the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the UK is also non-privat and unaffiliated, though in partnership with the Universities of Liverpool & Southampton.. is this roughly correct? It's what I recollect.

Hmm, looking up again at the topic comes along with the fear I somewhat drove past it? Sorry! The most famous or prestigious, in other words the American ones minus CERN, nevermind, have certainly been named right away. And in order to produce a succinct, if unqualified opinion, as I said, I'd need an avenue of research. What are we talking about? What are you looking for? Astronomy? Physics? Business? Medical sciences? Umbrella groups like Fraunhofer and MPG do almost all of it, but with naturally not all of their institutes being worth mentioning on international ground. This is what complicates it, and confuses me a little, though don't worry. ;)

AndreH
2011-Nov-21, 11:27 AM
Yes, although, much as in the already clarified cases of the Fraunhofer- and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, the DLR of course isn't made up of a single, centralized institute either. It comprises quite a few institutions scattered pretty much all over Germany and working in concert, ultimately forming the DLR. While certainly being directed and coordinated by specific headquarters, it is in fact a network of institutes, too.



The last assumption is definitely incorrect. ;) I have to object. Not least because some of their institutes aren't even located in Germany, even though the respective provider will always be found there. Clearly, I am not sufficently familiar with institutions of all the areas they're doing research in (there are so many!), perhaps most crucially, I personally do not even have a college/university background in the 'hard'/natural sciences, i.e. I do not hail from there or study it, consequently should not assess those, but, just as an example I am more familiar with: the MPI for Psycholinguistics of course you'll rather find in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and I'd suggest they're fairly known over there. (...well, at least as long as you ask the "right" people! :p ) Moreover the MPG operate one or two further institutions in Italy, but don't ask for names, you'd better look it up, and.. yes, there's "only" something about the arts or culture on my mind right now. Or was it art history? Whatever, something along the lines, it exists, it is abroad, and probably better known there, than it is in Germany. :D

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft don't operate facilities abroad, however. And when it comes to international status they may indeed be rather nondescript, I tend to agree here. (For all I know.) Concerning the MPG on the other hand, I opt to remain a tad more careful. Let's agree about the fact that this, at the end of the day, comes down to opinion mostly and depends much on one's own point of view, result it from actual expertise/profession or just one's personal interest/s. Anyway, as I mentioned, MPI/Psycholinguistics is a name you'll generally know in the respective field/s, and not only in the Netherlands & Germany for sure. This, I allege, holds still more concerning MPI Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig. Particularly in all matters of historical linguistics, you simply can't avoid them! If you only read the pertinent journals and papers, you've got the name in front of you routinely, and this, really, doesn't much depend on being from a certain country. Not today! Similar case, somewhat overlapping fields, same city (again, Leipzig): Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. My best guess is you wouldn't have to introduce it to someone coming from the field either, no matter where living. Note: None of these may count as world-class, or mega-prestige institutions, and I'm not claiming such! I'm really just making my case. ;) MPG cannot be a nonentity internationally, not when considering scientists or those in training, aka students. I hope we are not considering the general public!?

Okay, one more since it hasn't been mentioned yet, and wouldn't get mentioned otherwise. Again, no world-class probably, no mega-prestige certainly, but still 'knowable' and interesting to learn about at any rate. They deserve it: The Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI), Bremerhaven. I mean more or less the only (if indeed) better known institution in Germany doing research in oceanography, also field work. Their research icebreaker "Polarstern" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RV_Polarstern) is world-famous, I ask you. ;-) What's more: They're not private. Woods Hole, mentioned above, I'm afraid is. But the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the UK is also non-privat and unaffiliated, though in partnership with the Universities of Liverpool & Southampton.. is this roughly correct? It's what I recollect.

Hmm, looking up again at the topic comes along with the fear I somewhat drove past it? Sorry! The most famous or prestigious, in other words the American ones minus CERN, nevermind, have certainly been named right away. And in order to produce a succinct, if unqualified opinion, as I said, I'd need an avenue of research. What are we talking about? What are you looking for? Astronomy? Physics? Business? Medical sciences? Umbrella groups like Fraunhofer and MPG do almost all of it, but with naturally not all of their institutes being worth mentioning on international ground. This is what complicates it, and confuses me a little, though don't worry. ;)

Nice to see someone else having a high opinion of our German research institutes. Be sure I do know of the cutting edge research done in some of those. Some of them are among the world leaders in there field. But they will be only known to the insiders.

Just ask the American members here (especially they layman who never worked deeply in research). If they have ever heard of Fraunhofer's IST or MPI's IPP. The former is doing research in surface and coating technology, the other one Fusion research (investigating the stellerator principle).

I bet no one outside those fields will have ever heard of them.

SBT:(

pumpkinpie
2011-Nov-21, 02:41 PM
Germany has ...Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Actually, these are networks of institutes.


That's the first one that came to my mind.

jj_0001
2011-Nov-23, 09:37 AM
Whatever happened to Bell Labs?

Speaking as exBell Labs,it's gone, kaput, almost completely eliminated.

Jens
2011-Nov-23, 11:59 AM
I second CNRS. I was thinking about Fraunhofer and MPI, but as you mentioned they are networks or societies with many institutes. I also htink they are not very well known outside of Germany, even though they play a big role here.

I think it's fine that they are networks of institutes. And how well they are known outside Germany is what I'm interested in. Personally I know of MPI, but I hadn't heard of Fraunhofer. I know that there is a third, Helmholz, which is apparently not as well known despite having more employees (30,000) compared to MPI (13,000) and Fraunhofer (18,000). I sort of wonder why. I wonder if there's a connection to the fact that Max Planck the scientist is so well known? So maybe research institutes should take the name of a famous person?

Jens
2011-Nov-23, 12:05 PM
Hmm, looking up again at the topic comes along with the fear I somewhat drove past it? Sorry! The most famous or prestigious, in other words the American ones minus CERN, nevermind, have certainly been named right away. And in order to produce a succinct, if unqualified opinion, as I said, I'd need an avenue of research. What are we talking about? What are you looking for? Astronomy? Physics? Business? Medical sciences? Umbrella groups like Fraunhofer and MPG do almost all of it, but with naturally not all of their institutes being worth mentioning on international ground. This is what complicates it, and confuses me a little, though don't worry. ;)

I don't mean to limit it. Institutes like MPI are just what I'm looking for, so doing work in several fields is no problem. Though I'm primarily thinking of natural sciences.

Jens
2011-Nov-23, 12:07 PM
That's the first one that came to my mind.

It seems that MPI is very well known. They do produce a nice journal, Max Planck Research. I wonder how much comes from the fame of Max Planck himself. I suspect that an institute called the Albert Einstein Institute might do quite well.

kamaz
2011-Nov-23, 08:07 PM
Personally I know of MPI, but I hadn't heard of Fraunhofer. I

For me it's the other way around. What I know about MPI is that it exists, but I know a lot more about Fraunhofer. That's no surprise, since I do applied science (like Fraunhofer), while MPI does basic research.

ETA: I will use the occasion to mention a Polish institute network -- Polish Academy of Sciences, PAN: http://www.english.pan.pl/

AndreH
2011-Nov-23, 08:46 PM
I think it's fine that they are networks of institutes. And how well they are known outside Germany is what I'm interested in. Personally I know of MPI, but I hadn't heard of Fraunhofer. I know that there is a third, Helmholz, which is apparently not as well known despite having more employees (30,000) compared to MPI (13,000) and Fraunhofer (18,000). I sort of wonder why. I wonder if there's a connection to the fact that Max Planck the scientist is so well known? So maybe research institutes should take the name of a famous person?
So Fraunhofer is not famous enough? Yes I think taking a name of a famous scientist is important. But as beeing German I cannot answer how famous those institute are outside. The Fraunhofer institutes are doing apllied research. Very often they team up with companies for certain projects. That is the main thing they do. They have all kind of institutes in all kind of fields. Their is for example the "Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research" (see here: http://www.irb.fraunhofer.de ). The IST I have already mentioned. With the MPI it is not so different, but as someone mentioned it is more basic research.
There was another famous one in Berlin: The "Hahn-Meitner Institut". It is meanwhile renamed into "Helmholtz Institute" because it is part of that foundation. A mistake to my opinion.

AndreH
2011-Nov-23, 08:48 PM
It seems that MPI is very well known. They do produce a nice journal, Max Planck Research. I wonder how much comes from the fame of Max Planck himself. I suspect that an institute called the Albert Einstein Institute might do quite well.
But do you know the Max Planck Society/foundation has also a lot of totally different institutes?

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-25, 09:26 AM
Being a computer guy, I know the name Fraunhofer from its association with an MP3 encoder:)

AndreH
2011-Nov-25, 09:35 AM
Being a computer guy, I know the name Fraunhofer from its association with an MP3 encoder:)

Actually Joseph von Fraunhofer was an autodidactic researcher analysing the spectrum of the sun and found it to have dark lines the so called "Fraunhofer lines", which are absorption lines of the different elements. A short description in German is here:http://www.fraunhofer.de/de/ueber-fraunhofer/joseph-von-fraunhofer.html

Jens
2011-Nov-25, 01:12 PM
But do you know the Max Planck Society/foundation has also a lot of totally different institutes?

Yes, I know that. I'm actually quite a fan of their English language publication, Max Planck Research. It's very well written.

Robert Tulip
2011-Nov-25, 01:31 PM
The focus in the thread has been on physics, with I think one mention of health.

There are also large scale well known scientific research institutes in other fields such as agriculture. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (http://www.cgiar.org/who/index.html) has the following institutes:

Africa Rice Center
Bioversity International
CIAT - Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical
CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research
CIMMYT - Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
CIP - Centro Internacional de la Papa
ICARDA - International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
ICRISAT - International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
IFPRI - International Food Policy Research Institute
IITA - International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
ILRI - International Livestock Research Institute
IRRI - International Rice Research Institute
IWMI - International Water Management Institute
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
WorldFish Center

Jens
2011-Nov-29, 12:58 AM
There are also large scale well known scientific research institutes in other fields such as agriculture. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (http://www.cgiar.org/who/index.html) has the following institutes:


Thanks for the list. I sort of wonder, though, do people really know of those institutes? I've heard of a couple, mostly the IRRI, but that's because I used to work for an NGO that was involved in development issues in Asia. But most of those don't seem all that familiar.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-29, 02:17 AM
I doubt the general public is familiar with many research institutions full stop.

Jens
2011-Nov-29, 02:49 AM
I doubt the general public is familiar with many research institutions full stop.

Well I can't argue with you there. I'm sure that in the US, nearly every ordinary adult is familiar with Harvard and Princeton and Yale and bunch of other universities, but probably very few are aware of any public research organization except probably NASA. I suppose it's normal in a way, since research labs are not places that kids are trying to get into.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-29, 06:09 AM
I knew about Bell Labs when I was young, and Los Alamos makes the news occasionally (and shows up in history class), but I suspect that's about it.

grapes
2011-Dec-01, 12:07 PM
I knew about Bell Labs when I was young, and Los Alamos makes the news occasionally (and shows up in history class), but I suspect that's about it.Bell Labs is out of bounds, but there is also scientific research going on at places like the Brookings Institute, and...NSA.

Jens
2011-Dec-01, 01:37 PM
Bell Labs is out of bounds, but there is also scientific research going on at places like the Brookings Institute, and...NSA.

Well NSA is definitely within bounds. Brookings is private, though not commercial. I think NSA is well known within the US, but I'm not sure how well it is known outside. NASA is definitely better known, maybe because of the extra A?

grapes
2011-Dec-01, 02:05 PM
In hollywoodland, as far as shadowy amoral characters are concerned, the NSA has replaced the CIA and the KGB.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-01, 07:43 PM
Bell Labs is out of bounds, but there is also scientific research going on at places like the Brookings Institute, and...NSA.

Sure, but I was listing the sum total, not just the ones which fit the criteria.

swampyankee
2011-Dec-03, 07:25 PM
Well NSA is definitely within bounds. Brookings is private, though not commercial. I think NSA is well known within the US, but I'm not sure how well it is known outside. NASA is definitely better known, maybe because of the extra A?

Is this NSA as in National Security Agency? While being one of the World leaders in cryptanalysis research, historically, the NSA has not exactly tried to publicize itself. (somebody -- I think it was Stimson -- once said "Gentlemen do not read each others' mail" in reference to the US codebreaking activities pre-WW2. Of course, many governments of the time weren't run by gentlemen; they were run by megalomaniacal sociopaths like hitler or stalin. Nonetheless, government codebreaking still has some stigma, even when reading the mail from people like, say, Pol Pot)

Gillianren
2011-Dec-03, 08:53 PM
The old joke was that NSA stood for "No Such Agency."

Tobin Dax
2011-Dec-03, 09:31 PM
This year, friend of mine started as a Post-Doc in the astronomy department of a well-known institution. I'm fairly certain, though, that no one thinks of astronomy when they hear the name "John Hopkins University."

Gillianren
2011-Dec-04, 06:50 AM
Indeed no, though I've known two people who went to the med school.

swampyankee
2011-Dec-08, 03:35 AM
Well, we could keep throwing more into the mix: the USN's NSWC Carderock Division, formerly the David Taylor Research Center.

MikeMcc
2011-Dec-14, 06:58 PM
In the UK we have the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), there's a similar site at Daresbury (worlds first synchrotron...). The Welcome Trust runs a number of research labs, some within universities, others as seperate entities.

Dalkeith
2011-Dec-15, 10:53 AM
Not had time to do anything but skim the above but what about

DARPA (although this might be department in the NSA?)

and

the Craig Venter Institute

Jens
2011-Dec-15, 12:30 PM
DARPA (although this might be department in the NSA?)


Well close. It's a department of the Department of Defense. The NSA actually doesn't exist. You may have been misinformed. :)

swampyankee
2011-Dec-17, 12:22 AM
Doesn't the Niels Bohr Institute still exist?

Also, a lot of the states of the US have quite active research institutes, usually in rather esoteric areas. In Connecticut, the Agricultural Experiment Station is quite active in trying to develop a strain of American chestnut that is resistant to chestnut blight and, as a second task, to ink disease.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-17, 01:49 PM
Doesn't the Niels Bohr Institute still exist?
Yep, under the University of Copenhagen.