The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is pleased to announce Geraldine Richmond as this year’s Izatt-Christensen Lecture speaker. She will lecture February 26 and 27 in W116 of the Benson building at 4 p.m. on BYU Campus. The first lecture will be open to the public and is entitled “Empowering Global Scientific Engagement.” The lecture will address the growing food crisis across the world as the world population increases.
Dr. Richmond will share stories of her collaboration efforts with thousands of scientists across the globe as they try to find solutions to the current food crisis in Africa and Asia, where 161 million children under the age of five suffered from stunted growth due to malnourishment. As the world population approaches 9 billion people, Richmond will discuss potential solutions to world hunger.
Dr. Richmond is the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon, where her research has focused on understanding environmentally important processes at water surfaces. Over 200 publications have resulted from the studies conducted in her laboratory with undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates. Richmond received her B.S. in Chemistry from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
She is currently serving as a member of the National Science Board, as the U.S. Science Envoy to the Lower Mekong River Countries and as Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is recent past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is the incoming president of the Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society. Richmond is the founding director of COACh a grass-roots organization formed in 1998 that has helped over 20,000 women scientists and engineers in career advancement in the U.S. and developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Awards for her scientific accomplishments include the 2018 Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Linus Pauling medal Award (2018), the National Medal of Science (2013), the American Phyical Society Davisson-Germer Prize (2013), the ACS Joel H. Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Liquids (2011) the Speirs Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2004) and the ACS Olin-Garvan Medal (1996). Awards for her education, outreach and science capacity building efforts include the ACS Charles L. Parsons Award for Outstanding Public Service (2013), the ACS Award for Encouraging Women in the Chemical Sciences (2005), and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (1997).
Technical Lecture: The technical lecture will take place the following day on February 27 and is entitled “Mulling Over Emulsions: Molecular Assembly at Complex Liquid Surfaces.” The following is an excerpt from the abstract of the lecture: “Since the Romans first spread oil on water to calm the raging seas, curiosity has persisted about the unique nature of the interface between water and a hydrophobic liquid, including how surfactants and dispersants absorb at this unique junction.”
Dr. Richmond’s research is crucial to understanding many world problems, including the interaction of water with soils, metal ion transport across membranes, toxic metal complexation, and oil spill clean-ups.
The Izatt-Christensen lectures are named after two famous BYU professors, Reed Izatt of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and James Christensen of the Department of Chemical Engineering. The professors started a joint research program in chemical thermodynamics and chemical separations which received international recognition and in 1977, they organized the first Symposium on Macrocylic Compounds in Provo, Utah.