Grantee News

2015 Dreyfus-Sponsored ACS Awards

The Dreyfus Foundation sponsors two annual awards that are administered by the American Chemical Society: for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences and for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. In 2015, these awards were made to E. Ann Nalley, Cameron University, and Catherine H. Middlecamp, University of Wisconsin, respectively. Each award consists of $5,000 to the awardee and a grant of $10,000 to an eligible non-profit institution, designated by the recipient, to strengthen its activities in meeting the objectives of the award.

Past recipients of:

Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences


Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship

The Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions provides funding to bring a leading researcher to a primarily undergraduate institution to give both public and technical lectures in the chemical sciences, to meet with the students and faculty, and to support two undergraduates in summer research. Since the program’s initiation in 2010, the Foundation has made 24 awards in this program.

Last April, Catherine Drennan, professor of chemistry and biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lecturer at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Her series of talks included a general presentation at a monthly Science Night event at a local brewery, Is the Classroom Lecture Becoming Extinct or Simply Evolving?, which drew more than 100 people. The capstone event was a dinner and a technical talk, Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Capturing Snapshots of Metalloproteins in Action.

Drennan also worked with students at Highland Elementary School as part of Willamette’s science outreach program that brings undergraduate female science majors into the 5th grade classroom every week. She had lunch with chemistry majors, met with students enrolled in the Graduate School of Education, and met individually with faculty. Charles Williamson of Willamette described the visit as “a tremendous success, and we could not have asked for a more enthusiastic and engaged visitor.” Drennan stated, “Willamette set up a fantastic program that benefitted Willamette undergraduate students and faculty, the local non-scientific community, and the Portland area scientific community.”

Below is a chronological list of the Boissevain Lectureships currently scheduled:

Daniel Schwartz at Furman University, February 16-19, 2016
Tim Swager at Harvey Mudd College, March 7-8, 2016
Sharon Hammes-Schiffer at University of Colorado Denver, March 10-11, 2016
David Milstein at Carleton College, April 14-15, 2016
Robert Bergman at Albright College, April 28-29, 2016

Dreyfus Lectureship at University of Basel

The first annual Camille and Henry Dreyfus Lectureship at the University of Basel in Switzerland was held on October 2-5, 2013. George Whitesides of Harvard University, the inaugural lecturer, presented three seminars and held a scientific writing workshop during his visit to the campus. The lectures were widely attended by a diverse audience that included undergraduate and graduate students, professors from many departments in the sciences, high school teachers, and journalists. The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Lectureship annually supports bringing a leading U.S. chemist to Basel to deliver a series of talks and meet with students and faculty.


Science Friday

Science Friday, a weekly radio program hosted by Ira Flatow, received support from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation’s Special Grant Program to support production of several radio programs and videos aimed to strengthen the public awareness of the chemical sciences. Links to each of these productions are below.


With Chemical Tweaks, Cement Becomes a Semiconductor

Tracing the Origins of French Winemaking

Flexible Insect Protein Inspires Super Rubber

Food Failures: Beer Home Brew

Chemistry Research Roundup

US Cities Quench Growing Thirst with Saltwater

Food Failures: When Home Canning Goes Wrong

Food Fermentation: The Science of Sausage and Cheese


Out of the Bottle: Wine Tricks of the Trade

Out of the Bottle: Wine Flavor


"Create a Chemical Reaction" Featured at Museum of Science and Industry

"Science Storms," a dramatic large-scale permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, opened to the public on March 18, 2010. Science Storms includes an interactive four-story tornado, a large avalanche simulator, and other attractive physical science exhibits. Among the exhibits is "Create a Chemical Reaction," two interactive tables where visitors may generate virtual atoms by placing one out of a pool of discs on any element in an illuminated periodic table. These virtual elements may be brought together in an adjacent reaction zone to produce one of over 300virtual chemical reactions. For example discs that become virtual hydrogen and oxygen can be combined in the reaction zone to create water, with attractive explanatory visuals highlighting aspects ofthe "created" elements and resulting compounds. The table suggests chemicalreactions you might want to try.

"Create a Chemical Reaction" was developed through support from the Dreyfus Foundation's Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences.

Related links:

A YouTube video featuring "Create a Chemical Reaction"

Museum of Science and Industry online descriptions of "Create a Chemical Reaction" and

"Science Storms."

The Efficient Extraction of Carbon Dioxide from Ambient Air

Dr. Sunho Choi, a Dreyfus Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and his advisor Prof. Christopher W. Jones of the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that amine/silica hybrid materials are surprisingly efficient at extracting carbon dioxide from ultra-dilute sources, such as the ambient air. The direct extraction of carbon dioxide from ambient air may eventually produce sequestration-ready carbon dioxide for permanent or semi-permanent storage in geological formations, providing the means to effectively treat carbon dioxide emissions from both stationary and mobile sources.

Related links:

Application of Amine-Tethered Solid Sorbents for Direct CO2 Capture from the Ambient Air:

Amine-Tethered Solid Adsorbents Coupling High Adsorption Capacity and Regenerability for CO2 Capture From Ambient Air

Christopher Jones

"Chemistry Matters" Videos on has produced "Chemistry Matters," a series of short, educational videos in which 16 Nobel Laureates discuss new frontiers in the field and explore what life as a chemist entails. They also describe the beauty inherent in chemistry and recall the eureka moments of their research. Designed for students who are aspiring to a career in chemistry, these videos also recognize the International Year of Chemistry.

This effort received funding from the Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences.

Related links: Chemistry Matters videos, Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences

Tufts Chemistry Department Engages in Outreach to Local Schools

Dr. David Walt of Tufts University leads the Chemistry Organized Outreach Program (CO-OP), in which faculty and undergraduates engage local high school teachers with contemporary innovations in the field. Participating high schools are also able to borrow equipment from Tufts in order to integrate experiments into their own classrooms.

This effort received funding from the Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences.

Related links: Tufts E-News article, Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences

K-12 Chemistry a Hit at Science Buddies

Science Buddies, an online library of tools, project ideas, and how-to information, is one of the most popular websites for K-12 students developing science research projects. The Topic Selection Wizard (TSW) tool is especially popular with students. The Special Grant Program provided support to build a resource-rich "Chemistry Interest Area" for the TSW, which has become one of Science Buddies' most popular content areas.

Related link: