Birmingham – Chemistry

Wednesday 20th November 2019

10.45am to 3.30pm
University of Birmingham, Elgar Concert Hall

plus two examiner sessions with Michelle Oldfield

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The Scientists appearing on the day

Prof Andrea Sella

Nerve Agents: Chemistry’s dirty secret

From the Battle of Ypres in 1915 to the recent attack on Sergei Skripal, chemical weapons have been a terrible feature of modern warfare (despite various international treaties and campaigns that aim to eliminate them). For chemists, whose profession has played an important role in developing these horrific nerve agents, the moral questions this presents are extremely difficult: not only hard to answer but perhaps awkward to ask -making them all the more important, as Professor Andrea Sella will show.

One of the world’s most exciting speakers on chemistry, Professor Andrea Sella was recently awarded the Michael Faraday Prize for excellence in science communication – that is exactly what you get from Professor Sella. He will give one of his wonderful lectures, which will ask deep scientific and philosophical questions about the study of molecules and elements – as well as it being a dazzling chemistry demonstration. He is Professor of Chemistry at University College London.

Dr Peter Wothers

Understanding the Periodic Table

It is nearly 150 years since the publication of Medeleev’s first periodic table. Looking at the struture of atoms and chemical bonding, Dr Peter Wothers explores why the Table is arranged as it is and why it works so well.

He is a teaching fellow at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge and Director of Studies in Chemistry at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. In 2012 he gave the Royal Institution’s famous Christmas Lectures and is involved extensively in writing and outreach projects for young people interested in Chemistry.

Dr Suze Kundu

Adventures at nano-scale

An insight in science at the nano range. How does nature inspire nano-technology? What can we expect in the future from this exciting and promising areas of interdisciplinary science?

Dr Suze Kundu is a nanochemist and a teaching fellow at the University of Surrey. Her research focuses on materials that can capture solar energy, which can then be used to split water molecules to make hydrogen – a clean-burning fuel. She is an experienced lecturer, working with chemistry undergraduates as well as being involved in outreach programmes for students thinking about science at university.

Prof Lucy Carpenter

A round-the-world tour of atmospheric chemistry

Award-winning chemist, Professor Lucy Carpenter, surveys atmospheric chemistry around the world: from the Uintah basin and the tropical Atlantic to Beijing and London, looking at the relationships and feedbacks between chemistry and climate.

Head of Physical Chemistry at the University of York, she is an Atmospheric Chemist, specializing in the chemistry of the clean marine atmosphere and in natural emissions of volatile organic compounds. In 2015 she was awarded the Royal Society’s  Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific achievement, her suitability as a role model and her project proposal to promote women in STEM.

Professor Peter Atkins

Energy and entropy

We are very lucky to welcome the renowned Oxford University chemist, also a prolific author on chemistry and other scientific subjects. He will be talking about the driving force of chemical change: energy and entropy.