The Bell Burnell Observatory: 140 Years of Inspiring Scientific Curiosity

The Bell Burnell Observatory, located at Promega Madison

On a hill at the top of the Promega Madison campus, an old observatory overlooks the city of Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Inside, cutting-edge telescopes are ready to give students and astronomers breathtaking views of the cosmos.

Over the past 140 years, this observatory has served as the first launchpad for storied careers in astronomy. Following a relocation, it gave a passionate community a home for their curiosity. Today, it supports modern research while also welcoming stargazers of all ages. It is now one of the oldest operational observatories in the United States. This is the Bell Burnell Observatory.

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How Social Media Has Been Sciencified

On June 30th, 2010, World Social Media Day was created to bring people together and recognize the impact that social media has on communication globally. What started as a communication method for friends and families is now an integral tool for news, discussion, professional connections, and marketing.

In its short life, social media has redefined how we interact and communicate with one another. People have flocked to social media ever since the beginning of MySpace in 2003. However, it’s no secret that the pandemic accelerated social media usage, acceptance, visibility, and engagement. For many of us, it’s a great way to keep up with family, connect with friends, and, well, be social. But with more conversations happening online than ever, the question is, how does the scientific community fit into this ever-changing virtual world?

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A Vibrant Welcome Back to the Promega Art Showcase

After a long hiatus sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Promega Art Showcase will return next week with a new exhibition titled “A Vibrant Welcome Back!”

Promega Art Showcase

Why is a biotechnology company hosting an art show?

At its core, science is rooted in creativity. Scientists investigate the unknown and search for novel solutions that can improve our quality of life. We believe that observing and creating art reenergizes the imagination, inspiring scientists to look from new perspectives and step outside of the norms.

Promega has hosted quarterly art showcases in the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center since 1996. These showcases are open to the public and have featured the work of local, national and international artists. Past shows have included sculptors, folk artists, photographers, and painters. The December-March show each year features artwork by Promega employees and their family members.

The 2022 Summer Art Showcase features the work of Derrick Buisch, a painter and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, alongside Bettina Madini, a European contemporary artist and fashion designer.

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Volunteering. A Celebration of Service, Community and Connection

Promega Madison employees volunteering to gather trash from roadside ditches.
Promega Madison employees gather trash from roadside ditches.

Volunteering is willingly giving your time and effort without expecting something in return. The month of April is volunteer month, and April 20 is national volunteer recognition day, so we are taking this chance to celebrate volunteers and the work they do that benefits us all. Fundamentally, volunteering is about service to others, but that service can take on many different forms. Promega recognizes the benefits that volunteering brings to our employees as well as our local and global communities. Our Promega in Action program offers Madison-based employees the chance to volunteer their time and talents; applicants get up to 40 hours of extra paid time off to work with the charity or organization of their choice.

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World Art Day: Experiences of Fine Art That Disrupt and Drive Innovation

This metal sculpture adorns the parking garage that serves Promega Kornberg and Feynman buildings on the Madison, WI, USA campus.
This metal sculpture adorns the parking garage that serves Promega Kornberg and Feynman buildings on the Madison, WI, USA campus.

World Art Day embraces art as a means for nurturing creativity and innovation, gaining greater understanding of cultural experiences that are different from our own, and showcasing the contributions of art and artists to sustainable development. It is no accident that World Art Day is celebrated on the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, the celebrated Italian polymath who used art to express emotions, articulate technological concepts well before their time, and understand the workings of human anatomy.

Takaski Mitachi, a moderator of the 2019 global conference panel on Innovation through Art: Leveraging Disruption for a Sustainable Ecosystem, said that “Art can add value so that we could drive innovation beyond logic and data.” In a sense, the fine arts are a way of expressing our observations about the world around us, similar to how an original scientific hypothesis attempts to explain phenomena we observe and want to test. While scientific investigation builds on data and logic to test a hypothesis, art gives us a different way of knowing our world that extends beyond just data and logic. When we explore the arts, we broaden our understanding and interpretation of the world and bring these new perspectives to our scientific and technological explorations. Art is a disruptor of staid ways of thinking about and approaching problems, and like many other disruptors in our world, it can drive innovation.

In an article in the MIT Technology Review, author Sarah Lewis discusses the relationship between the arts and scientific breakthroughs. She notes one study that found a disproportionately high number of Nobel Prize-winning scientists also pursue art, writing or music as serious avocations. When asked why achievement in art and science seem to go together, she replied: “What the arts allow us to do is develop the muscle required for discernment and also strengthen our sense of agency to determine for ourselves how we’re going to tackle a given problem…Ultimately it’s up to the person creating the work to determine what that path is, and that kind of agency is what’s required for innovation.”

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Promega Included On 2022 Top Workplaces USA List

Top Workplaces 2022 Logo

Promega Corporation has been named among the best places to work in the USA with a 2022 Top Workplaces USA Award. The Top Workplaces USA list, announced on February 1, is a program run by research firm Energage to recognize high-performing companies based solely on employee engagement surveys. The surveys measure the level of connection, motivation, and commitment employees feel for their companies.

Energage believes that improving engagement can directly impact performance, innovation, retention, and talent attraction. The 2022 USA winner’s list is calculated by comparing the survey’s research-based statements to predict high performance against industry benchmarks.


I am able to perform science in an environment that makes me feel as though I’m growing as a researcher…

—Promega Employee Survey Response

A Culture of Work-Life Balance

Promega also earned a “culture badge” for Work-Life Balance. Employee feedback showed this factor to be the company’s strongest culture driver. Culture badges are earned for scores that are in the top 25% of organizations in the same benchmark. 

Promega Director of HR Organizational Development, Darbie Miller points out how much Promega employees value the flexibility to flourish both at work and at home. “It is meaningful to all of us that employees continue to experience a culture that prioritizes flexibility to balance work and personal life. We are honored to receive this recognition and also to understand how to continue to evolve the employee experience at Promega.”


My co-workers care, I do work that makes me feel empowered, and I have the flexibility to be a real person with a real life.

—Promega Employee Survey Response

#LifeAtPromega

Promega offers welcoming careers where employees can stay, contribute and grow. We challenge our employees to change the world, to have more fun, to bring their full selves to work— in short, to take on a career that means more. At Promega, our employees do just that. Here, employees play a role in solving the world’s most pressing problems, experience camaraderie, gain satisfaction and get reward. We challenge ourselves to improve our local communities, to create an open, inviting and inclusive culture, to foster a work environment where collaborative givers, continuous learners, and ambitious go-getters thrive.

Our employees make an award like this possible, and we are grateful for the talent they bring every day. With an eye toward the future, we will continue to build on a culture that values science, sustainable business, and human well-being. We believe that every one of our employees has the potential to make a meaningful difference. And they do.


“It [my job] allows me to contribute to the betterment of mankind, the advancement of science, and success of my friends.”

—Promega Employee Survey Response

Word cloud generated from Promega Employee responses to survey
The Top Workplaces survey asked employees what three words best describe Promega culture. This word cloud reflects the employee responses.

It [my role] allows me to be my natural, gifted, independent self while accomplishing the greater goals of the company and being part of something spectacular.

—Promega Employee Survey Response

Promega is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. We are committed to science advancement for improving life in the global community. With branches in16 countries and over 50 global distributors serving over 100 countries

Our tools and technologies support a wide range of work. This includes cell biology, protein analysis, drug development, human identification, and molecular diagnostics. Promega products are used in labs for academic and government research, forensics, pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics, and agricultural and environmental testing.

Discover a career at Promega that will give you the opportunity you need to make a difference.

Are you a student who is exploring possible careers outside of academia? Industry has many opportunities for scientists. Read some of our careers blogs to learn more.

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5 Blogs that Made us Celebrate in 2021

The past twelve months have, quite literally, been a year. As 2021 comes to a close, it’s that time to reflect on some of our most popular stories written by our Promega Connections bloggers from the past year. Take a look at five Promega blog posts that gave us a reason to celebrate in 2021.

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How to Commit to Global Responsibility with Local Accountability

This summer, Dr. Anette Leue, Director of Digital Marketing and PR Promega GmbH, represented Promega Corporation in Sustainability Day activities sponsored by Smart Lab Connects. Dr. Leue presented Promega Corporation’s corporate responsibility activities and joined a panel discussion about global responsibility with representatives from Eppendorf, Max Planck Sustainability Network, and NIUB Sustainability Consultants.

Dr. Anette Leue, pictured, talked about global responsibility as part of Sustainability Day.

As the Sustainability Day activities progressed, what became apparent is that calls for sustainable business growth are coming from all directions. Customers of life sciences companies are asking, “what are you doing to be a responsible company”? And, employees also are asking the same question of their employers. This interest sustainability and global responsibility by customers, employees and local communities is bringing into sharp focus the activities of companies to be good corporate citizens. Sustainability and global responsibility programs are no longer nice extras for life science companies, but rather are requirements for doing business.

“Sustainability is not a “nice to have”, but something that should be intrinsically implemented in the companies.”

Dr. Anette Leue
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Technical Manuals: A New Look

This blog post was cowritten by Sara Klink and Kari Kenefick.

Promega technical manuals have a new look! But never fear, our manuals still contain the protocol instructions for correctly using Promega products and include data, product and component storage information that you need to be successful at the bench. The cover art on our manuals now incorporates the use of imagery created by David Goodsell, which you can also find on our product boxes and at www.promega.com. The new cover image is being applied as we create new technical manuals or revise existing documents. Below are the old (left) and new (right) covers to compare:

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