One of the cornerstones of our educational efforts is the initiation of a new seminar series entitled, “Chemistry of Everyday Life.” This series provides a forum to invite speakers in less "traditional" areas of chemistry to present topics of interest to students, faculty, and staff of the greater IU community, as well as the Bloomington city community. SISACS received an ACS Innovative Project Grant to launch this outreach-focused seminar series.
The first speaker in this series, Dr. Eric Block, author of "Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and The Science," is from University of Albany - SUNY. Dr. Blockvisited IU during National Chemistry Week on October 22, 2010 to discuss the chemistry of the edible alliums, which include garlic, onions, leeks and chives. Our second speaker, Dr. Charles Bamforth, visited campus on April 21, 2011 and spoke to an audience of more than 200. Dr. Bamforth is a Professor of Food Science and Technology at University of California, Davis and spoke on “Tapping into the Chemistry of Beer and Brewing.” The third speaker in this series, Dr. Joe Schwarcz of the Office for Science & Society at McGill University visited the department in April of 2012. His talk, “Hey! There Are Cockroaches in My Chocolate Ice Cream!” was well received and attended by more than 150 members of the chemistry department, including a large number of undergraduate students. Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum from NYU visited IU on March 6th, 2013 to discuss "A Taste for Science: Adventures at the Interface of Chemistry and Cuisine," and some lucky audience members were able to taste his vegan meringues! We continued the series in 2014 with Dr. Sue E. Ebeler, who is a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Ebeler visited on March 12th, 2014 and discussed "Analytical Approaches for Understanding Wine Flavor." Dr. Andy Jorgensen from the University of Toledo was our speaker in 2015, and he gave a wonderful and informative lecture on climate change on earth day (April 22nd, 2015) entitled "Climate Change Disruption. What do we know? What can we do?". Professor Jorgensen's seminar was very well attended by the chemistry community as well as the Bloomington community. Dr. Kevin Folta from the University of Florida visited on October 26th, 2016 and gave a very informative seminar entitled "GMO Benefits, Risks, and Science Communication to a Concerned Public." In 2017, Dr. Paul Bosland gave a seminar entitled "Chile Pepper Chemistry: Color, Flavor, and Heat". Professor Bosland established the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, and is the Regents Professor at the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Science there. Please see the Activities page for more details.