November 2011

Goodbye, Beaumont House


Indeed, Anderson retired in 1958, and John Edsall of Harvard University became editor of the journal. Edsall made it quite clear that he didn’t care for the business end of running the JBC, and Bob Harte was hired shortly thereafter as the first executive officer and managing editor of the journal in part to relieve Edsall of those chores. With those changes, the society set up its permanent office at Beaumont House. When it first moved in, it shared the space with the federation as well as other societies, but this changed quickly when it became clear that more space would be needed to meet the growing demands on the federation facilities.

Thus, the Milton O. Lee building was erected and opened in 1962. Eventually, the ASBC became the sole occupant of the original buildings, as all other FASEB and non-FASEB societies relocated to the more recently constructed buildings on the FASEB grounds, a trend that continued into the next century.

The Beaumont House is now more than 80 years old, and it is beginning to show its age. Although solidly built, chipping paint, water stains and other signs that some serious maintenance and even some restoration is sorely needed are all too evident. Indeed, there were carpenters and painters banging and scraping away as we took our stroll through the halls of Beaumont House one last time. At the risk of being overly palaeolatric, it has served the ASBC (and ASBMB) well, and one can only hope the next tenants will grow and prosper during their residency as the society did.

  1. 1. R. A. Bradshaw, C. C. Hancock, and N. Kresge (2009) The ASBMB Centennial History: 100 Years of the Chemistry of Life, ASBMB, Bethesda, Md., 91 – 92.
  2. 2. J. R. Brobeck, O. E. Reynolds, and T. A. Appel (eds) (1987) History of the American Physiological Society: The First Century 1887 – 1987, APS, Bethesda, Md., 79 – 84.
  3. 3. 


Beaumont_house_BradshawRalph A. Bradshaw ( is co-editor of Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and the ASBMB historian.  

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  • The NSF, along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Energy's Office of Science, are supposed to be on a track to doblue their respective budgets over the next several years. This is based on the COMPETES legislation passed in 2007 as part of President Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative.The challenge in making sure this happens has been pretty much in the appropriations committees, where other priorities, and the general inability to get budgets passed on time, has seen Congress hit the budget targets late. While this doesn't derail the doubling process, it makes it harder for the agencies and their grantees to effectively plan for and disburse funding.Don't take this to mean I think Lively is wrong, it just seems like he's missing some context.

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