Portrait of a Scientific Glassblower

8/28/2019; 3 minutes

For the past 16 years, Jim Breen, the highly-skilled artisan, has created glass apparatuses and other vessels for Berkeley researchers not just those in chemistry, but in engineering, earth and planetary science, physics and other fields. Breen, who's blown glass for about 40 years, is one of a dwindling number of scientific glassblowers in the United States. Fifty years ago, the American Scientific Glassblowers Society had roughly 1,000 members; for the past 25 years, the numbers circled 500. But Breen says only about 50 work at colleges or universities. (#35132)

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