How can we best leverage our independence and resources?

What do we do better than anybody else?

What questions can we pursue that others are overlooking?

Setting Up A Second Century of Excellence

As we look to the future, our Carnegie Science community must continue to ask fundamental questions about our scientific impact and the role we play in research and discovery.

Exploring these questions led us to an assessment of our work and our future as a world-class scientific institution. This exercise informed strategies that will enable us to achieve our best science, now and going forward. While we are fortunate that our endowment and your generous support provide us with an enviable level of independence, forefront science increasingly requires major investment.

Palm trees in front of the San Gabriel Mountains

A Partner in Pasadena

Understanding that the future of the scientific enterprise is interdisciplinary and collaborative, we have formed a new alliance with Caltech, which will open many opportunities for breakthrough research between our two institutions. This partnership builds on our shared history in astronomy and astrophysics and will enable us to make a decisive investment in the global fight against climate change by consolidating our life and environmental science research into a single location. To meet this grand challenge, we will be leaving our campuses in Baltimore and Palo Alto and moving our departments of Embryology, Global Ecology, and Plant Biology to Pasadena.  

Project Timeline

In 2020, Carnegie Science decided to bring together its developmental biology, ecology, and plant science research efforts into a unified, interdisciplinary division where our experts will study the natural world at every scale, from the molecular to the global. This groundbreaking work will occur in a state-of-the-art research facility in Pasadena. Until this new building is completed, our experts will remain geographically dispersed, but our scientific vision is unified.


Pasadena sign

Carnegie announces that the Departments Global Ecology and Plant Biology will relocate from Stanford to Pasadena as part of an enhanced alliance with Caltech and and effort to make a decisive impact in climate research.

Downtown Pasadena aerial view with golden sky lit up by setting sun

Carnegie convenes Building Committee to evaluate needs for new facility in Pasadena.

A bridge in the San Gabriel Mountains.

The search for the new division director is launched. 

Palm trees in front of the San Gabriel Mountains

Carnegie determines that the Department of Embryology will also relocate to a new facility in Pasadena that house an integrated, interdisciplinary division for life and environmental sciences, further strengthening our partnership with Caltech.

Margaret McFall-Ngai named inaugural Director of Carnegie’s new division for integrated life and environmental sciences.

A road winds through the San Gabriel Mountain

Biosphere Sciences and Engineering selected as the name for Carnegie’s newly launched division for a genomes-to-ecosystems approach to the biological sciences.

Stephanie Hampton

Stephanie Hampton joins Institution as Deputy Director of Carnegie's Division of Biosphere Sciences and Engineering.

BSE faculty come together on the Caltech campus for inaugural retreat.

Inaugural BSE retreat brings Staff Scientists, Staff Associates and others together in Pasadena to discuss the research vision and goals.

A bridge in Pasadena at sunset

New Carnegie-Caltech partnership agreement signed. The intention to pursue an expanded partnership between these two elite research organizations was first announced in March 2020 and has been in development since that time.

Downtown Pasadena with sun shining through the clouds

Relocation Committee convened to collect and evaluate information on scientific needs for research space

BSE Staff Retreat 2024

Second BSE staff retreat brings researchers together for visioning exercises and tours of possible research sites.

Pasadena aerial view with San Gabriel mountains rising in the background

Design Committee convened to start process of designing new Carnegie Science life and environmental science research space in Pasadena

Current Locations