FRIDAY: Sir Harold Kroto Talks Kentucky Fried Creationism at TUC

When Sir “Harry” visited the University of Cincinnati in April 2008, his visit included a stop across the river. He didn’t take only memories — he took photographs, too. And he can’t wait to talk about them. What better keynote speaker to have for the annual Ralph and Helen Oesper Banquet & Poster Session?

Sir Harold Kroto is the Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University. He was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996. And at this year’s Oesper Banquet, he will discuss “Kentucky Fried Creationism and Other Food for Thought.”

“Having just had food for the body perhaps after the dessert we should have food for thought,” says Sir Harry. “It is interesting to ponder the fact that although almost every area of the sciences has contributed to the tens of thousands of pieces that make up the ‘Darwinian evolution jigsaw puzzle,’ organizations such as the Discovery Institute and Creationist Museum seem to have no difficulty in convincing large numbers of people (many with a lot of money) that we are all wrong.”

The Department of Chemistry of the University of Cincinnati and the
Cincinnati Section of the American Chemical Society present the

2008 Ralph and Helen Oesper Banquet & Poster Session
Prof. Alan G. Marshall
Florida State University

Event Details
When: Friday, Oct. 24, 2008
Poster Session/Social Hour: 5:30–7 p.m.
Banquet: 7:15–8:15 p.m. (approximately) by reservation only.
8:15–9:30 (approximately)
Where: Great Hall, Tangeman University Center (TUC), University of Cincinnati Uptown Campus

NOTE: You do NOT have to attend the banquet to participate in the poster session or the after-dinner presentation by Sir Harold Kroto. Assorted light refreshments will be provided during the poster session at no additional cost.

For further information please contact Kim Carey at 513-556-0293 or for more information about all the Oesper events go to:

About Alan G. Marshall

Alan G. Marshall was born in Bluffton, Ohio, in 1944, and grew up in San Diego. After a brief stint in medical school, he left to complete his B.A. with honors in chemistry in 1965. He completed his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University in 1970, working with John Baldeschwieler on both NMR and ICR projects. He joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) in 1969.

While in Canada, Alan was ace hitter for the 1978 Canadian Men's Open Volleyball National Champion team. He moved to The Ohio State University in 1980 as professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of the Campus Chemical Instrument Center. In 1993, he moved to Florida State University, where he is Robert O. Lawton Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Ion Cyclotron Resonance Program, supported by NSF as a national user facility.

Although he has published extensively in several areas of spectroscopy, he is best known for his co-invention and continuing leading development of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry. His major recognitions include Fellow of American Physical Society, Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy; three American Chemical Society national awards (Chemical Instrumentation, Field-Franklin Award, and Analytical Chemistry Award); two Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh Awards (Hasler Award and Spectroscopy Award); the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Distinguished Contribution Award; the International Society for Mass Spectrometry Thomson Medal; and the Chemical Pioneer Award from American Institute of Chemists. He is a former President of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and serves on several editorial boards. He has published four books, four patents, and 450 refereed journal articles, and has presented 1,400 talks/posters for conferences, universities, government labs and industry. His papers have been cited 16,000 times. Of his 103 former Ph.D.s and postdocs, 29 have gone on to academic positions. His current research spans FT-ICR instrumentation development, fossil fuels and environmental analysis, and mapping the primary and higher-order structures of biological macromolecules and their complexes.

The History of the Oesper Symposium
The annual Oesper Symposium was established thanks to a bequest from Ralph and Helen Oesper. Ralph E. Oesper earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from U.C.’s Chemistry Department. Oesper returned to the University of Cincinnati as a member of the chemistry faculty in 1918, where he remained until his retirement in 1951. He remained active as professor emeritus almost to the day of his death, 26 years later, at the age of 91.

Oesper was a prolific writer, publishing more than 300 papers in the fields of analytical, organic, and colloid chemistry and especially in the history of chemistry. He also used his mastery of the German language to translate nearly two dozen books in these fields, as well as countless articles.

Oesper’s many interests and activities, as well as his dedication to the University of Cincinnati, are reflected in his bequest to the Department of Chemistry. Besides the annual Oesper Symposium, the bequest has also been used to establish a faculty position in chemical education and the history of chemistry, to support a yearly departmental colloquium on the history of chemistry, to establish scholarships for outstanding high school chemistry students, and to purchase new additions to the Oesper Collection of Books and Prints in History of Chemistry.

More about Sir Harold Kroto
Sir Harold obtained a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Molecular Spectroscopy at the University of Sheffield. By 1970 he had carried out research in the electronic spectroscopy of gas phase free radicals and was moving on to liquid phase Raman studies. By 1974 he had finally obtained a much awaited microwave spectrometer and the first molecule he used it for was the carbon chain species HC5N. Laboratory and radioastronomy studies on long linear carbon chain molecules led to the surprising discovery that existed in interstellar space and also in stars. Laboratory experiments with co-workers at Rice University which simulated the chemical reactions in the atmosphere of red giant stars uncovered the existence of C60 in 1985. C60 is an elegant molecule shaped as a soccer ball and named “Buckminsterfullerene” to honor the American architect who had conceived the geodesic dome that the molecule, on a microsocopic scale, seems to replicate.

The discovery of C60 caused Kroto to shelve his dream of setting up a studio specializing in scientific graphic design (which he had been doing semi-professionally for years). He therefore decided to probe the consequences of the C60 concept and to exploit the synthetic chemistry and material sciences application. In 1990 he was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society and in 1991 he has awarded a Royal Society Research Professorship which enabled him to concentrate on research. In 1995, he inaugurated the Vega Science Trust ( to create science films of sufficient high quality for network television broadcast. The following year he was knighted for his contributions to chemistry and awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry together with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley.

From 2002–4 he was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2007, he started a new educational initiative at Florida State University known as GEOSET — Global Education Outreach in Science, Engineering and Technology.

He has received honorary degrees from a number of universities in the UK and abroad, as well as many scientific awards including the International Prize for New Materials by the American Physical Society (1992), the Italgas Prize for Innovation in Chemistry (1992), the Royal Society of Chemistry Longstaff Medal (1993), the Faraday Award (2001) and the Copley Medal of the Royal Society (2002). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.

About Sir Harry’s first visit to UC
4/10/2008  Nobel-Winning Nano Researcher Makes UC Visit

An April 10-11 symposium hosted by graduate students honors Sir Harold "Harry" Kroto, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

About UC’s Darwin Sesquicentennial Celebration

10/16/2008   Chronicle of Higher Ed's WiredCampus: Darwin's Famous Journey Is Recreated in Second Life
UC's year-long celebration of Darwin's birth and publication of "On the Origin of Species" is catching national attention. In an online article in the Chronicle of Higher Education's 'Wired Campus,' UCit's Chris Collins explains the virtual Galapagos Islands that her team has created in Second Life.