Chemistry Shorts Releases Experiment on Freezing as a Method of Desalination

Chemistry Shorts announces the release of a new hands-on experiment geared to students grades 9 through 12 to investigate freezing as a method of desalination

The new lab experiment has been added to the existing lesson plan (pages 19-26) for the newest Chemistry Shorts short film “Untapped Potential,” which highlights both the critical challenges and chemistry-inspired innovations in water supply, re-use, and purification.

In this experiment, students will take on the role of a water quality engineer, attempting to create fresh, drinkable water from simulated sea water. The experiment explores fundamental properties of water and allows students to use both qualitative and quantitative methods to interrogate a potential problem-solving technology. To fit the needs of different classrooms and equipment availability, the experiment materials include suggested modifications, as well as background reading and connections to chemistry topics like freezing-point depression and thermodynamics for more advanced classroom discussions.

A drop of water with a blue and yellow background and the words "Untapped Potential in the Classroom"

The Chemistry Shorts film series, presented by the Dreyfus Foundation, spotlights the positive impact of chemistry on modern life as scientists work to solve important problems and create new opportunities that benefit humanity. Learn more about Chemistry Shorts and see all of the films, lesson plans, and experiments in this series at


2023 Dreyfus Prize Topic Announced: Imaging in the Chemical Sciences

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation has selected Imaging in the Chemical Sciences as the topic of the 2023 Dreyfus Prize.

The Dreyfus Prize, awarded biennially, recognizes an individual for exceptional and original research in a selected area of chemistry that has advanced the field in a major way. The prize consists of a monetary award of $250,000, a medal, and a certificate. Unique features of the award include a ceremony and lecture event at the Prize winner’s institution and a symposium featuring the prize winner and leading scientists, in this field, at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

“Imaging techniques in the Chemical Sciences provide a visual representation of the real-space spatial distribution of structure, composition, and properties of molecules, crystals, assemblies, and materials,” said Matthew Tirrell, chair of the Dreyfus Foundation Scientific Affairs Committee. “We wish to recognize an individual who, through experimental methods and/or techniques of data analysis, has significantly impacted and advanced this important field.”

For further details on the 2023 Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, including eligibility and the nomination procedure, please visit the nomination procedure page on the Dreyfus Foundation website. The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2022.


2022 Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Awards

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation announces eight award recipients of the 2022 program for Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering, totaling $800,019. The Foundation anticipates that these projects will contribute new fundamental chemical insight and innovation in the field.

Connor G. Bischak, University of Utah
Uncovering Structure-Function Relationships in Organic Mixed Conductors: High-Throughput Electrochemistry Guided by Machine Learning

Stephen Leffler Buchwald
, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Active Scientific Machine Learning of Chemical Reaction Networks and Chemical Reactivity in Transition Metal Catalysis

Robert A. DiStasio Jr., Cornell University
Semi-Local Density Fingerprints for Machine Learning Molecular Properties, Intra-/Inter-Molecular Interactions, and Chemical Reactions

Julia Dshemuchadse, Cornell University
Discovery of New Self-Assembled Crystal Structures for Materials Design

Boris Kozinsky, Harvard University
Learning Non-Local Functionals and Equivariant Models for Reactive Dynamics

Wenhao Sun, University of Michigan
Machine-Learning Classification of Materials Synthesizability

Mark E. Tuckerman, New York University
Machine Learning the Theorems of Density Functional Theory

Gregory A. Voth, University of Chicago
Physics-Constrained Machine Learning for Reactive Molecular Dynamics

Chemistry Shorts Releases New Film About Water and Future Water Supply, Plans Additional Chemistry Productions

Chemistry Shorts today released its newest film “Untapped Potential”, which highlights both the critical challenges and chemistry-inspired innovations in water supply, re-use, and purification. The nine-minute film features environmental and chemical engineering experts David L. Sedlak, PhD, Professor, University of California Berkeley, Meagan Mauter, PhD, Associate Professor, Stanford University, and William Tarpeh, PhD, Assistant Professor, Stanford University.

“Untapped Potential” is the fourth addition to the well-received Chemistry Shorts film series presented by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The series spotlights the positive impact of chemistry on modern life as scientists work to solve important problems and create new opportunities that benefit humanity. Learn more about Chemistry Shorts and see all of the films and lesson plans in this series at



“Ensuring a safe water supply is one of the most compelling challenges humanity faces in the 21st century. With a clear narrative and stunning visuals, this film aims to enlighten and inspire by highlighting the game-changing solutions being developed in the chemical sciences. Targeting an audience of high school and college chemistry students, its appeal may be much broader,” says H. Scott Walter, President of the Dreyfus Foundation Board of Directors. The new film is available for immediate viewing and use in teaching free of charge on Chemistry Shorts YouTube channel. A full lesson plan to accompany the film is available on the Chemistry Shorts website.

Chemistry Shorts recently received a major grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This partnership will increase the reach of the film series, allowing for at least six additional films to be produced over the next three years. “We are excited about this opportunity to promote a broader understanding and appreciation of the chemical sciences and hope it inspires a new generation of scientists and path-breaking scientific discoveries,” says Gary Greenburg, Program Officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Learn more about the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation by visiting its website.

Additional support for this series has been provided by The Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Learn more about The Research Corporation for Science Advancement by visiting its website.


In “Untapped Potential” from Chemistry Shorts: “Now, with modern chemistry, desalination, and advanced oxidation processes, we’ve opened up a way to access sources of water that 50 years ago seemed undrinkable.”

Zhenan Bao and Milan Mrksich Elected to Board of Directors


Zhenan Bao and Milan Mrksich have been elected to the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Board of Directors effective April 2022.

Dr. Bao is a K.K. Lee Professor in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Since 2018, she has been the Department Chair. She founded and has been directing the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR). Dr. Bao is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She is known for her pioneering work on skin-inspired electronic materials and their applications to medical and energy devices. She has developed a wide range of novel molecular design concepts for organic electronic materials and fabrication methods. Dr. Bao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from The University of Chicago in 1995.

Dr. Mrksich is Vice President for Research and the Henry Wade Rogers Professor with appointments in Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Cell & Developmental Biology, at Northwestern University. His discovery of the SAMDI technology has been commercialized by SAMDI Tech and is the leading label-free method in drug discovery. He was also the founding Director of Northwestern’s Center for Synthetic Biology and an Associate Director of Technology and Infrastructure in the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Mrksich received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1994.