International Year of Chemistry Celebrated at Michael Schwartz Library

The CSU Michael Schwartz Library will be celebrating the International Year of Chemistry throughout the month of February.

According to Theresa Nawalaniec, the sciences and engineering librarian, the International Year of Chemistry commemorates the “benefits of chemistry to mankind.”

The library, in conjunction with the CSU chemistry department, will host presentations and speakers during the month.

“We tried to get a broad group of speakers,” said Nawalaniec. She said that speakers range from scholars to chemistry professors.

Dwight Chasar, a research scientist and ornithologist, began the series of presentations on Jan. 26 with a lecture titled “Chemistry is for the Birds.” His talk discussed the pigments that give birds their color and chemicals that birds use to survive in nature.

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, a professor from Baldwin-Wallace College, Joe Gorse, will discuss his research in renewable energy. Nawalaniec said that his research focuses on converting french fry grease into biodiesel.

CSU associate professor Michael Kalafatis will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 16, about his research to combat cancer.

Kalafatis appeared in the news last March when his students discovered that a compound called CancerX killed human cancer cells when placed on the cells in a petri dish. He has continued to research the possibilities of CancerX and has applied for grants to fund further research.

The presentations will end on Wednesday, Feb. 23 with chemistry demonstrations by Jerry Mundell and Anne O’Connor from the CSU chemistry department.

“The demonstrations will be a fun thing to get people excited about chemistry,” commented Nawalaniec.

In addition to the presentations, an exhibit is set up in the library on the first floor to the left of the User Services desk.

The exhibit, which will be on display until the end of the month, features periodic tables, contributions from women in chemistry, illustrations of molecules and various books about chemistry.

Nawalaniec remarked that the highlight of the exhibit is a 12-foot tall DNA molecule that was constructed by faculty, staff and students.

Although the library hosts exhibits each month, this is the first time that an exhibit has included a series of weekly talks.

Nawalaniec said that the purpose of the presentations and exhibit is to increase the public’s knowledge of chemistry and to encourage students to go into the field.