The Battelle Memorial Institute, which began operations in 1929 at its corporate site in Columbus, Ohio, is the largest multinational, public purpose, not-for-profit research organization in the world. Its 7,500 natural scientists, engineers, social scientists, and support personnel are engaged in a broad range of research which embraces the physical, life, and social/behavioral sciences. Battelle operates major research centers in Columbus, Ohio; Frankfurt, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; and Richland and Seattle, Washington. Battelle's research volume in 1980 was $811 million, which included projects in 75 countries throughout the world. A major objective of Battelle is to benefit mankind by the advancement and utilization of science through technological innovation and educational activities and dissemination of knowledge through publications.
Until the late 1960s, Battelle was known primarily for its research in the physical and life sciences (including the basic research and development of xerography in the mid-1940s). In 1971 the Battelle Human Affairs Research Centers (HARC) was created to do basic and applied research in the social and behavioral sciences. HARC is a multidisciplinary social science organization that conducts research and educational activities directed toward the solution of significant societal problems. Its staff of over 1 50, which is located in Seattle and Washington, D.C. and includes political scientists, policy analysts, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, economists, international affairs and defense specialists, urban planners, and statisticians, is one of the largest non-academic groups of social scientists in the United States.