"Some of the most interesting problems in science, and many of the most important facing society, need chemistry for their solution. Examples include: understanding life as a network of chemical reactions; interpreting the molecular basis of disease; global stewardship; the production, storage, and conservation of energy and water; and the management of carbon dioxide."
"Chemistry must reorganize to try to solve problems that are important and recognizable to the society that is paying for the research, especially those to do with water, food, health, energy, and environment."
"Many of chemistry's fundamental discoveries were made in the course of developing practical technologies...catalysis, and polymer science, for instance, had their origin in industry."
"Reinvention is essential for the continuing relevance and survival of the discipline."
—George Whitesides (along with John Deutch), Nature, January 6, 2011
Banner Image Source: Felice Frankel. From the book No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale by Frankel and Whitesides. Image features polymer fronds a few thousand nanometers long wrapping around spheres.
Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor Harvard University Scientist, Inventor, and Entrepreneur
"Something like the Bono of science..." —Smithsonian Magazine
"Whitesides's contributions to science range into biology, engineering, physiology, materials science, physics, and especially these days, nanotechnology. Other scientists, government leaders, inventors, and investors worldwide want to hear from him." —Smithsonian Magazine
A world renowned scientist and advocate for chemistry as a solution to global health and energy needs will give a technical lecture and lead a panel discussion.
A pioneer in fundamental research who pushes the bounds of interdisciplinary collaboration to establish new fields in science and develop them towards practical applications with the potential to change the everyday world in which we live
Founder of Diagnostics for All, a nonprofit enterprise to provide low-cost, easy to use postage-stamp-sized diagnostics tools to be used onsite in developing countries, a featured TED lecture
Member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Co-author of more than 1,100 articles—#1 on Hirsh Index of living chemists; holder of more than 100 patents
Co-founder of 12 companies including Genzyme
Adviser to the National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Defense, and NRC
Winner of the Dreyfus Prize for new materials that have advanced chemistry and its societal benefits, the Franklin Medal
George Whitesides's TED Lecture: A Lab the Size of a Postage Stamp
About the Martin and Mary Kilpatrick Lecture Series
IIT's annual Kilpatrick Lecture honors Martin and Mary Kilpatrick, who were outstanding researchers and educators. Martin served as chair of IIT's Department of Chemistry from 1947–1960, leading the department to national prominence in both undergraduate and graduate instruction and research. As a scientist, Martin made his mark in fundamental chemical research in areas of physical and inorganic chemistry, and material science. Mary was a chemistry faculty member from 1947–1964.
The Kilpatricks devoted their lives to the critical and creative study of chemistry, particularly chemical kinetics, acid-based reactions, and electrolyte chemistry. Before coming to IIT in 1947, Martin was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and assisted Harold Urey in the Manhattan Project at Columbia University. Both Kilpatricks were Fulbright research scholars who studied in Denmark under the legendary J. N. Bronsted.
As chair at IIT, Martin guided the department during a period of vigorous growth and development in both teaching and research. Initially, the department occupied all of Wishnick Hall—one of the three new buildings by Mies van der Rohe that marked the beginning of today's modern Main Campus.
In recognition of the Kilpatricks's achievements at IIT, Martin's successor, Arthur E. Martell, and faculty colleagues instituted the now permanently endowed Kilpatrick Lecture Series.
IIT's chemistry program spans the traditional areas of research in physical, organic, inorganic, and biological chemistry. Furthermore, there are multidisciplinary projects that combine different areas of science to solve real-world problems in catalysis, pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, materials, and sustainable energy.
The chemistry program at IIT provides rigorous education in the fundamental areas of chemical theory and chemical experimentation. This solid foundation in the chemical sciences competitively prepares our students for careers in academia, industry, and government.
The flexible curriculum offers students the opportunity to specialize beyond the traditional areas with one of six options: biological, pharmaceutical, polymer, or materials chemistry; chemical physics; or chemistry education (combined bachelor's/teaching certificate). Also possible are dual-degree, major plus minor, combined bachelor's/master's, premedical, or honors law options.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology is a Ph.D.-granting research university with world-renowned programs in architecture, design, engineering, business, humanities, psychology, social sciences, law, and the basic sciences. Located in the world-class city of Chicago and with roots dating back to the 1890s, the campus is tied to the mid-20th century vision of world-renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. IIT's distinctive education combines classroom instruction with interdisciplinary research and professional projects to prepare students for conducting innovative research and entering today's workforce.
IIT Visitor Information
Visit the IIT Visitor Information webpage for more information about IIT, directions to campus, nearby hotels, and parking.