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Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Symposium, 2018

The fifth biennial symposium for Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars was held at the New York Academy of Sciences on October 26, 2018. Recent Teacher-Scholars presented posters of their research and heard scientific talks by four distinguished senior scientists, representing different research areas of chemistry. The speakers were: Zhenan Bao, Stanford University; Sean Decatur, Kenyon College; John Hartwig, University of California, Berkeley; and Timothy Swager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, James Anderson of Harvard University spoke about recent innovations in teaching the chemical sciences.

The invited recent Teacher-Scholars each produced a 2-3 minute video about their research and its potential importance, with much of the content aimed at non-scientists. These videos are collected HERE and also organized by category on the Dreyfus home page.

John F. Hartwig, Henry Rapaport Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Accelerating Chemical Synthesis with Catalysis
Chair: Matthew V. Tirrell
Hartwig’s research focuses on the discovery and understanding of new reactions catalyzed by transition metal complexes. Among the many potential applications of his work is catalysis in the areas of renewable chemicals and fuels. He has received many awards, most recently the 2018 Tetrahedron Prize, with Stephen Buchwald of MIT, for developing the “Buchwald-Hartwig animation,” a chemical reaction used for the syntheses of carbon-nitrogen bonds, an important tool widely used in organic chemistry, natural product synthesis, and in the industrial preparation of numerous pharmaceuticals. In 2016 he was the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Lecturer at the University of Basel, and he received a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award in 1997.

Zhenan Bao, K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
Skin-Inspired Electronic Materials
Chair: Matthew V. Tirrell
Bao is renowned for more than two decades of pioneering work in organic electronic materials, enabling flexible electronic circuits and displays. Bao and her multidisciplinary team have developed skin-inspired organic electronic materials—intrinsically stretchable polymer materials with sensing capabilities that have unprecedented performance or functions in medical devices, energy storage, and environmental applications. She is the founder and faculty director of the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiate (eWEAR), a co-founder and on the Board of Directors for Silicon Valley start-ups C3 Nano and PyrAmes, and an advising Partner for NewGen Venture Capital. Her many honors include the Applied Polymer Science Award of the American Chemical Society, the Women in Science Award of the L’Oreal Foundation and UNESCO, and election as a Fellow or Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the National Academy of Engineering.

Sean M. Decatur, President, Kenyon College
Aggregating Proteins and Coupled Vibrations: A Case for the Integration of Biophysical Chemistry, Problem Solving, and the Liberal Arts
Chair: Richard N. Zare
Decatur is the 19th president of Kenyon College. He was formerly the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College, where he was also a professor of chemistry and biochemistry. A product of, and advocate for, liberal arts education, Decatur is interested in examining science in its broader context, exploring ethical, social, and political questions related to scientific topics. He has authored several Op-Ed pieces on the undergraduate experience, and has contributed to the New York Times Room for Debate commentary forum. When on the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, his lab developed isotope-edited infrared spectroscopy techniques to characterize the structure of proteins and peptides, which was applied to study disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and cataracts. His many honors include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a 2003 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

James G. Anderson, Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Harvard University
Frontiers and Foundations from a Global and Molecular Perspective: A New Approach to Introductory University Chemistry
Chair: H. Scott Walter
Jim Anderson is a world leader in the interdisciplinary study of climate change.  Anderson and his group address the relationship of climate change, chemistry, and Earth Sciences in both the laboratory and in natural settings. In addition to his significant research contributions, Anderson is a principal voice calling for a new, contextual, and forward-looking approach to undergraduate science education. He is the author of innovative curricula that combine chemistry and physics to address the unprecedented problems at the intersection of science, technology, policy, and an array of rapidly emerging global scale challenges. He has received many distinguished awards, from the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the United Nations, and the British Royal Society of Chemistry, among others, and has served on National Research Council, National Science Foundation, and Dreyfus Foundation boards and committees.

Timothy M. Swager, John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Molecular Designs for Specificity in Chemical Sensors
Chair: Richard N. Zare
Swager’s research in electronic polymers for use in sensory materials is the basis of the highest sensitivity FidoTM explosives detectors. The Swager group also researches applications of organic photovoltaic materials, polymer actuators, membranes, and luminescent molecular probes for medical diagnostics. He is the Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT. Among his prestigious honors are the Pauling Medal, the Lemelson-MIT Award for Invention and Innovation, and the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and has more than 80 issued/pending patents. He has founded four companies, DyNuPol, Iptyx, PolyJoule, and C­2 Sense, and has served on many corporate and government boards.

In addition to presenting research posters, the recent Teacher-Scholars provided brief teaching statements that were compiled and distributed at the Symposium. To view these statements, click on the download button below.