Accomplished Chemist Joseph S. Francisco to Present Helen Murray Free Lecture

Former president of the American Chemical Society and professor at Penn to speak

Event Details

October 30, 2018 - 11:00 a.m., 7:30 p.m.
Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall, Gault Lecture Hall of Ruth W. Williams Hall of Life Sciences

WOOSTER, Ohio – Joseph S. Francisco, an internationally recognized scholar of atmospheric chemistry and chemical kinetics who currently serves as the President’s Distinguished Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will make a pair of presentations as the speaker of the Helen Murray Free Lecture at The College of Wooster on Tuesday, Oct. 30.Joseph S. Francisco

The first lecture, “From Atmospheric Complexes to Aerosols: New Insights into Atmospheric Chemistry,” will begin at 11 a.m., in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.). Francisco will describe the fundamental chemical processes that take place in the atmosphere and how they impact ozone depletion, acid rain, and climate change.

The second lecture starts at 7:30 p.m., in the Gault Lecture Hall of Ruth W. Williams Hall of Life Sciences (931 College Mall) and is titled “How We Can Rebuild Trust in Science – And Why We Must.” In this presentation, Francisco will outline a practical framework for crafting communication strategies to effectively engage the general public in the importance of what chemists do and the societal impacts of their research and work.

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Prior to his appointment at Penn, Francisco chaired the chemistry department and served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests include atmospheric chemistry, tropospheric and stratospheric chemical kinetics and modeling, atmospheric spectroscopy and photochemistry, and aerosol and cloud chemistry.

Among his many professional roles and honors, Francisco is a fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Physical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He served as the president of the ACS in 2010 and was an appointed member of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science (2010-2015) by President Obama.

Francisco has served as the atmospheric and ocean science editor for Pure and Applied Geophysics,and is on the editorial advisory boards of several journals. He is a co-author of the textbook “Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics,”which has been in print for nearly three decades and is widely considered as the fundamental textbook in the field. He has also published over 600 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, laser photochemistry, and spectroscopy.

Francisco earned a bachelor’s degree while majoring in chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Helen Murray Free graduated from Wooster in 1945 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Her research in clinical chemistry revolutionized diagnostic testing, particularly the “dip-and-read” glucose tests for diabetics, and she was awarded seven patents for her clinical diagnostic test inventions. From 1987 to 1992, she chaired the ACS’s National Chemistry Week Task Force, and in 1993, she served as president of the ACS. She and her husband, Alfred, were inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2000, and in 2010, the ACS designated the development of diagnostic test strips as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. That same year, she was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama.

Additional information about the lectures is available by phone (330-263-2418) or email.