The Daniel Swern Memorial Lecture was established in 2007 in honor of Dr. Daniel Swern (1916-1982), a former professor in the Department of Chemistry. A respected figure during his time at Temple, Dr. Swern is most well-known for his discovery of the Swern oxidation process. His papers still generate close to 200 citations each year.
This year's speaker was Dr. Barry Trost, Tamaki Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Trost's wide-ranging research in organic synthesis is recognized for its extraordinarily novel methodologies. His pioneering work in bond selectivity led to such discoveries as the Trost asymmetric allylic alkylation, Tsuji Trost reaction and the Trost ligand.
Professor Trost's lecture, On the Invention of New Synthetic Methods and Their Impact On Synthetic Strategy to Bioactive Targets, covered novel reactions that are more selective and more atom economic. Ruthenium and palladium catalyzed processes were explored as more efficient synthetic strategies to complex bioactive natural products.
Among science's highest honors, The Franklin Institute Awards identify individuals whose great innovation has benefited humanity, advanced science, launched new fields of inquiry, and deepened our understanding of the universe.
The 2009 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth & Environmental Science winner is J. Frederick Grassle. The first views in the late 1970s of the amazingly diverse ecosystems near volcanic vents on the sea floor stunned biologists and ocean scientists alike. Encrusted with never-before-seen species, these vents offered the chance to observe life entirely unlike any other life forms on Earth, as the species receive their energy solely from underground chemicals and heat, and never from the sun. Grassle -- after hearing from geologists of the vents existence -- mounted the first biological expeditions that provided early images. The excitement they generated created a new focus in oceanic research, forcing scientists to re-think their previous assumptions about requirements for life.
The Symposium featured Dr.Grassle, Director, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, Dr. Cindy L. Van Dover, Professor of Marine Biology, Director, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Duke University, Dr. Richard A. Lutz, Director, Center for Deep-Sea Ecology and Biotechnology, Professor, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, and Dr. Costantino Vetriani, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University. The panel discussed seldom-seen images and video from undersea vents.
An annual series of lectures given in honor of Emil Grosswald, a former member of the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America, this year's Grosswald Lecture Series featured Dr. Gunther Uhlmann, Walker Family Endowed Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington.
Dr. Uhlmann lectured on his work with Calderon's inverse problem, invisibility and time travel. Abstracts of Dr. Uhlmann's talks are available on the 2008-2009 Grosswald Lecture series webpage.