Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics – work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford, and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland.  She has been President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3M Breakthrough Prize in 2018.

The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster.  In her spare time, she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space’.

Dr. Eric Scerri
Faculty and Lecturer
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, Los Angeles
Thursday, February 18, 2021 4 PM EST
Via Video Conference (contact for link information)

All interested persons are cordially invited to join the Zoom call.


In his lecture, Dr. Scerri will discuss episodes from, “A Tale of Seven Scientists”, a book which examines the work seven little known scientists at the borders of early 20th century atomic chemistry and physics. These scientists include John Nicholson, Anton Van den Broek and Charles Janet. The study is part of an ongoing project that seeks to understand priority disputes, multiple discovery and the role of minor contributors in the development of science. The lecture will conclude with some speculations on how these studies might contribute to attempts to understand ‘the nature of science’.

BIOSKETCH (adapted from

Dr. Scerri is Lecturer at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He is also Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Foundations of Chemistry, a triannual a peer-reviewed academic journal. Scerri is widely acknowledged as an authority on the Periodic Table, appearing in the PBS documentary The Mystery of Matter. He received his bachelor’s of science degree from Westfield College, the University of London, his MPhil from the University of Southampton, and his Ph.D. from King’s College London. He is the author/editor of 12 books and over 150 publications.

Scerri is a chemist but also a noted historian and one of the pioneers of the philosophy of chemistry, a subdiscipline that began to take shape in the mid-1900s. In particular, his work on the Periodic Table has crossed disciplines, and he has worked on conceptual problems involving the reduction of chemistry to quantum mechanics (typically considered part of the philosophy of science). In 2015, Scerri was appointed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) to make a recommendation on the composition of “Group 3” in the periodic table, selecting the elements that should be included. Scerri’s latest book, published in 2020, is titled The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance. Scerri maintains a blog to go further in-depth on this topic and others;

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Online Colloquium: “Therapeutic Opportunities in Glycoscience ” — February 11, 2021 at 4 PM

Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi
Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H
Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences
Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Stanford University
Thursday, February 11, 2021, 4 PM EST
Via Video Conference (contact for link information)

All interested persons are cordially invited to join the Zoom call.


Cell surface glycans constitute a rich biomolecular dataset that drives both normal and pathological processes. Their “readers” are glycan-binding receptors that can engage in cell-cell interactions and cell signaling. Our research focuses on mechanistic studies of glycan/receptor biology and applications of this knowledge to new therapeutic strategies. Our recent efforts center on pathogenic glycans in the tumor microenvironment and new therapeutic modalities based on the concept of targeted degradation.


Carolyn Bertozzi is the Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H and the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. She is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research focuses on profiling changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and infection, and exploiting this information for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also has been awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize, among many others.

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Dr. George C. Schatz
Morrison Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Northwestern University
Thursday, January 28, 2021 4 PM EST
Via Video Conference (contact for link information)

All interested persons are cordially invited to join the Zoom call.


This talk will overview the interplay between optics, plasmonics, and excitonics for systems that
consist of arrays of gold, silver or aluminum nanoparticles in 1D, 2D and 3D. I begin with
developing theory (electrodynamics) that describes the interaction of light with arrays of
plasmonic particles, including the special properties of lattice plasmon polariton resonances for
1D and 2D lattices in which photonic resonances get hybridized with plasmons to generate high
Q hybrid modes. The theory then evolves to considering the interaction of the lattices with
emitters, varying from a single emitter plus a lattice, where a generalized Fano-Anderson model
can be developed, and evolving to high concentrations of emitters where strong coupling is
found, and effective medium approximations are useful.

As application of these theories, I describe the unusual extinction and scattering properties of
lattice plasmons, including quadrupole resonance effects for aluminum lattices, and lattice
plasmon lasers in which laser dyes, quantum dots or upconversion nanoparticles are added to the
nanoparticle lattices and where the theory needs to combine electrodynamics with a quantum
description of the emitter. I also describe 3D lattices consisting of DNA—linked nanoparticle
structures which also give rise to resonance modes, but where nonresonant interference can lead
to unusual results.

Bio (from

George C. Schatz is a theoretical chemist, editor-in-chief at the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and the Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University. He earned his B.S. from Clarkson University and his Ph.D. from Caltech. He completed his post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, investigating chemical reaction kinetics.

Interview with Dr. George C. Schatz

His research specialty is in the field of reaction dynamics. One of the top theoretical chemists, he has conducted groundbreaking research into the computational modeling of the optical properties of nanoparticles, including how gold and silver nanoparticles absorb light. This work has important clinical implications for the diagnosis of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease, through the use of biosensors.

He credits his success to having had the opportunity to explore multiple fields of inquiry, allowing for a top-down interdisciplinary approach that opens up new possibilities.

Schatz has produced an impressive body of work, with over 900 scientific publications including his book: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics in Chemistry. He has been honored with the Ahmed Zewail Prize, an international award recognizing contributions to Chemical Physics.

He is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and the National Academy of Sciences. His research work today focuses primarily on nanotechnology and bionanotechnology.

Academic Website

Featured in Top Influential Chemists Today

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