The Southern Indiana Section of the American Chemical Society (SISACS) is working to enhance the educational experiences of the graduate and undergraduate populations at Indiana University and perform outreach activities to inform the greater Indiana community about chemistry. You can find out more information about our past and future activities at our website: http://sis.sites.acs.org/. For the calendar year 2014, Dr. Megan Thielges is the Chair, Dr. Thomas Snaddon the Chair-Elect, Dr. Daniel Watts is the Secretary, and Dr. Laura Brown is Treasurer. Dr. Kenneth Caulton is our local section Councilor with Dr. Steve Tait as our Alternate Councilor.
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. These presentations are recorded and posted on the Internet for viewing by all interested persons. 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 are excited to continue the series this year with Dr. Sue E. Ebeler, who is a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Ebeler will visit on March 12th, 2014 and will discuss "Analytical Approaches for Understanding Wine Flavor." We are currently in the process of scheduling the next speakers for this series that we anticipate will be of great interest to the undergraduate population at IU and members of the surrounding community.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, SISACS initiated a “Student Selected Seminar Series.” This series is unique in that it provides the graduate student populations of the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry with the opportunity to select a prominent speaker and present their research to this scientist during their visit to campus. Student-selected seminar invites are regarded as extremely prestigious, enabling this series to attract a number of very well-known scientists to the IU campus. Thus far we have had six world renowned speakers visit our campus: Dr. Phil Baran, from The Scripps Research Institute, visited on March 31, 2010. Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi from the University of California, Berkley visited on September 1, 2010 and Dr. Benjamin Cravatt, from The Scripps Research Institute, visited April 6, 2011. For the 2011-2012, academic year we scheduled Dr. Michael Summers, from the University of Maryland and Dr. Fred McLafferty, from Cornell University. In the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Daniel Nocera from Harvard University visited in November of 2012 and Dr. Timothy M. Swager from Massachusetts Institute of Technology visited on February 6th, 2013. In the 2013-2014 academic year, Dr. John Hartwig from the University of California, Berkeley visited on October 1, 2013, and Dr. Mark Johnson from Yale University visited January 29, 2014.Find out more details in the Activities tab.
Finally, chemistry colleagues are encouraged to get to know one another through informal gatherings hosted by SISACS. We had three of these gatherings during the fall semester in the IU Chemistry Department.