Farewell to Summer!
It’s September, and the chlorophyll is giving way to the carotenoids. What better way to celebrate the coming of autumn than with an evening of Chemistry?First, please join us for dinner and conversation with our guest speaker at local favorite Baker Street Burgers. After that, please come to the Rockford University campus for our monthly meeting, featuring a talk by NIU’s own Dr. Tom Gilbert.Of course, everyone is welcome to attend the talk even if they must miss dinner.
Tuesday, September 24,2019
“Computational Studies Addressing Lies Professors Tell Students and Lies Researchers Tell Themselves"
Dr. Thomas Gilbert
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Northern Illinois University
Chemists simplify theories, laws, and procedures to express chemical complexity to audiences, be they students, researchers, or lay people.Sometimes these simplifications become sufficiently widespread as to become memes: self-perpetuating entities whose weaknesses have been lost or forgotten. This means chemists lie to their audiences without grasping the lies. This talk will describe computational studies of flaws in "conventional wisdom" in VSEPR theory, physical organic chemistry, and main-group organometallic chemistry.It will be argued that such flaws should remind chemist lecturers that it is critical to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of chemical principles when communicating with non-expert audiences.
Dinner at 5:00 pm: Baker Street Burgers, 1603 N. Alpine Rd., Rockford
Lecture at 6:30 pm:130Starr Science Bldg, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St, Rockford
To ensure that we reserve enough tables for dinner, please RSVP to: William Doria at firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday, September 24, 12:00pm.
Dr. Thomas M. Gilbert is associate professor of chemistry at Northern Illinois University. He received his doctoral degree at the University of California at Berkeley after graduating from Purdue University. Since 1989, Gilbert has served on the faculty of NIU. His research interests range over a wide area of physical organic chemistry and computational modelling, including the structures and reactions of frustrated Lewis pairs, the influence of ring-strain energies on catalysis, and the photochemistry of filter compounds related to cataract formation in the human eye.