September 22, 2008

Molecules That Make a Difference

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with the opening of its new museum and conference center, the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) announces the launch of the Molecules That Matter Lecture Series. The series complements the museum's first changing exhibition, Molecules That Matter, which showcases scientific objects and artistic reactions to ten organic molecules that transformed the twentieth century. The exhibition, developed in collaboration with the Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, will feature creative responses to aspirin, isooctane, penicillin G, polyethylene, nylon, DNA, progestin, DDT, Prozac and buckminsterfullerene. These molecules-ranging from pharmaceuticals to consumer industrial polymers-have revolutionized housing, clothing, fuel and healthcare.

The Molecules That Matter lecture series, according to CHF president and CEO Thomas R. Tritton, "will welcome speakers who will present their perspectives on the building blocks of matter and how they relate to the science in our daily lives, including the promises and perils of discovery and innovation."

The lecture series commences on September 25 and concludes on December 9; tickets for each lecture in the Molecules That Matter series are $15. Alternatively, an all-lecture pass may be purchased for $45. Students will be admitted free with a valid student ID. Tickets may be purchased in advance at All lectures in the series are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. EST with a reception following. Doors will open one hour before the start of each event.

   Lecture Series Schedule:     Thursday, September 25     Robert S. Langer     "Biomaterials and How They                                                    Will Change Our Lives"    Tuesday, October 7         Eric Roston          "The Beauty of Science and                                                    the Science of Beauty"    Tuesday, October 21        Chrissy Conant       "An Artist Hijacks the                                                    Biochemistry of Life"    Tuesday, November 11       Sandra Steingraber   "The Many Faces of DDT"    Tuesday, December 9        Dawn A. Bonnell      "Linking Proteins, Wires,                                                    Dots, and Molecules into                                                    Useful Devices"    Lecturers' Bios:  

A widely celebrated chemical and biomedical engineer, Robert S. Langer is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Langer is a pioneer of many new technologies, notably including transdermal delivery systems, which allow the administration of drugs through the skin without needles or other invasive methods.

Eric Roston is senior associate in the Washington, D.C. office of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and a former TIME Magazine writer. His recent book, The Carbon Age: How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat, examines the science of carbon and its seminal impact on human life.

New York-based artist Chrissy Conant's Chrissy Caviar project is displayed in Molecules That Matter. Conant's work portrays deeply personal struggles; Caviar addresses the emotional and physical pressures that the prospect of reproduction places on women in their late thirties.

Heralded as the "new Rachel Carson" by the Sierra Club, Sandra Steingraber is an internationally respected expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. Her acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, presents cancer as a human rights issue.

Dawn A. Bonnell is the Trustee Professor of Materials Science and director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She leads the center's Small Times Journal, which is ranked number one in nanotechnology research in the nation.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation serves the community of the chemical and molecular sciences, and the wider public, by treasuring the past, educating the present, and inspiring the future. CHF carries out a program of outreach and interpretation, in order to advance an understanding of the role of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries in shaping society; maintains a world-class collection of materials that document the history and heritage of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies and industries; and encourages research in its collections. For more information, please visit

    Media Contact:    Carrie Barnes    ELISE communications    (215) 253-4208    [email protected]  

The Chemical Heritage Foundation

CONTACT: Carrie Barnes of ELISE communications, +1-215-253-4208,[email protected], for The Chemical Heritage Foundation

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