"CHEMISTRY CONNECTIONS AND RATIONAL SKEPTICISM" LECTURE TO BE GIVEN AT C-STATE

Lecture Free and Open to the Public Nov. 9       

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Nov. 2, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College’s Lyceum Committee in conjunction with the Science, Technology, and Mathematics Division will host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lecture titled Chemistry Connections and Rational Skepticism. Hellen Taylor, Ph.D., chemistry and physical science instructor at Columbia State, will present the lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the Ledbetter Auditorium in the Frank G. Clement building on the Columbia campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Taylor earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in physics and geology from Rice University and a doctorate in chemistry (organic chemistry and chemical physics) from Louisiana State University. During her distinguished career, she has been affiliated with a variety of national and international chemical and pharmaceutical companies specializing in various chemical operations, research and development, regulatory compliance and management activities. After retirement from the industry, she provided consulting services to major corporations. She has been an instructor at Columbia State since 2010.

“Chemistry plays a vital role with other sciences to enhance and improve the state of technology in the world, and thereby to improve the human condition,” said Taylor. “My lecture, inspired by science historian James Burke’s television documentary series that premiered in the late 1970s, will be a brief examination of several recent advances in chemistry, the confluence of which may help us to resolve one of the most significant problems of our time: how to generate and use clean energy. The presentation will begin with new information on sources of greenhouse gases, describe attempts to harness efficient solar power by identification of potential elements and compounds that may provide better solar energy conversion and storage, and culminate in an overview of a special form of carbon known as graphene and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Dr. Daniel Shechtman for his work on quasi-crystals. Although these topics do not form a linear progression of discovery, I intend to discuss in easy-to-understand terms how their connections may impart a critical mass of knowledge that will lead to improved technologies.”

Taylor’s lecture will also advocate that a healthy dose of skepticism must be included in all scientific and technological endeavors as practiced by scientists and lay persons alike. The Lyceum Committee members and college organizations are proud to offer this lecture to local Tennesseans who are interested in chemistry innovations, technology and the role science and technology play in everyday life.This lecture was arranged by the Lyceum Committee as a continuation of the third season of STEM-type lectures held at the college for students, employees and the public. For more information about this lecture or Columbia State STEM degree programs, contact the Science, Technology and Math Division at (931) 540-2710 or visit www.columbiastate.edu/stm.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

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