Florida State Beats MIT for Magnet Lab

Article excerpt

FLORIDA State University has beaten prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a bid to house what is envisioned as the world's leading magnetic research laboratory, officials announced Friday.

The National Science Foundation picked the Tallahassee, Fla., location over the Cambridge, Mass., site for the National Magnetic Field Laboratory, contrary to the recommendation of a scientific panel that studied the proposals.

Both proposals were strong, but the Florida site was chosen in part because of the state's pledge of long-term support, including money for 34 full-time faculty, 20 visiting faculty, and other personnel, officials said.

The lab is expected to lead to major new discoveries by using strong magnetic fields to conduct research in such diverse fields as biology, chemistry, and materials research.

Florida officials hailed Friday's decision, while their Massachusetts counterparts condemned the move and called on the National Science Foundation (NSF) to reconsider its action.

"This puts us in the major leagues to stay. This demonstrates that the scientists and engineers in our universities can compete with the best in the world," said Charles Reed, chancellor of the Florida state university system. …