Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
Susan Solomon, the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies at MIT, has been awarded the UK Royal Society’s prestigious Bakerian Medal.
Announced today in London, Solomon is being honored “for her outstanding contributions in atmospheric science, in particular to the understanding of polar ozone depletion.” She will also give the Bakerian Lecture, a prize lecture on a topic related to the physical sciences.
Solomon has been a leader in the fields of atmospheric chemistry and climate change for more than three decades. In 1986, Solomon proposed that novel chemistry was taking place in Earth's atmosphere, and then used optical techniques to demonstrate that chlorine and bromine released by chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases were responsible for the ozone “hole” over Antarctica, which had been discovered just a year earlier. Those findings contributed to the establishment of the Montreal Protocol to reduce emissions of CFC gases beginning in 1987. Thirty years later, using observations and model calculations, it was again Solomon who led the first study to identify the earliest signs of the recovery of the Antarctic ozone layer, indicating the progress and effectiveness of those 1987 regulations.
Solomon joined MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) in 2011, after a long tenure at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; she now holds a joint appointment in MIT’s Department of Chemistry. Passionate about education, she played an active role in developing MIT’s minor in atmospheric chemistry and the minor in environment and sustainability. A gifted writer and speaker, she was also founding director of the Environmental Solutions Initiative.
Recent publications from the thriving research group Solomon has built at MIT have addressed observed changes in Southern Hemisphere wind patterns, thermal sea-level rise due to anthropogenic emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, and connections between Arctic stratospheric ozone extremes and Northern Hemisphere climate.
The historic Bakerian Medal and Lecture, awarded annually by the Royal Society, was started in 1775 when Henry Baker, a prominent 18th century British naturalist, left £100 to establish a “spoken lecture given by a Fellow of the Royal Society on such part of natural history or experimental philosophy as the Society shall determine [to convey] scientific interests and importance, and encourage sharing of knowledge with others.”
Solomon will deliver her prize lecture in London in the spring of 2018. In the meantime, she presents the Seventh Annual John H. Carlson Lecture, “A Brief History of Environmental Successes,” at Boston's New England Aquarium on Oct. 26.