Asilomar, Spanish for refuge by the sea, was built in 1913 as a YWCA conference center and girls’ camp. The Center comprises the original historic buildings, extraordinary examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and later additions in similar style. Situated on fifty acres among native Monterey pine and coast live oak forest, and with a temperate climate (click here).

Asilomar was the site for the historic Conference on Recombinant DNA, organized by Paul Berg. In February of 1975 a group of about 140 professionals, including biologists, lawyers and physicians gathered to discuss the potential biohazards and regulation of biotechnology. The effects of these guidelines are still being felt through the biotechnology industry and the participation of the general public in scientific discourse. The conference suggested the use of biological barriers to limit the spread of recombinant DNA. Such biological barriers included fastidious bacterial hosts that were unable to survive in natural.