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Dr Debra R. Rolison to give 2013 Abbott Chemistry Lecture

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The University of North Dakota’s Department of Chemistry is hosting its annual Abbott Chemistry Lecture this week. Dr. Debra Rolison of the US Naval Research Laboratory is giving a public presentation on Thursday evening, followed by a lunch time presentation on Friday in the department. Details follow for the Thursday lecture and you can find more details on the department’s website.

 

Creating Change in Scientific Institutions through Subversion, Revolution (Title IX!), and Climate Change

The slow crawl at which research-intensive universities diversify their faculty is a national disgrace in that they actively recruit for students that reflect the face of America. Similar difficulties are apparent among the scientific staff of national/federal laboratories. But how can one person change the world of science? Subvert the standard operating procedure. Create a microclimate that shows―over time―how new patterns of operation and inclusiveness yield productive, innovative science. Use the scientific capital and street credentials accrued over time, thanks to the humane microclimate and research productivity of one’s team, to challenge the status quo with reasoned and bold arguments for change. Remember the importance of uppity behavior and applying “tipping point” mechanisms to move beyond initial reactions of dismissal to―over time―accepted inevitability (such as greeted my audacious suggestion in March 2000 to withhold federal funds from non-diversified chemistry departments through application of Title IX). Ask the leaders of our S&T institutions the following: how good can American science, engineering, mathematics, and technology (STEM) be when we are missing more than two-thirds of the talent? Learn to demand that our world of science be one that truly relishes the talent innate to all of humanity for science and discovery.

Dr. Rolison heads the Advanced Electrochemical Materials section at the NRL, where her research focuses on multifunctional nanoarchitectures for such rate‑critical applications as catalysis, energy storage and conversion, and sensors. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of Utah (2000–present). She was a Faculty Scholar at Florida Atlantic University (1972–1975) and received a Ph.D. in Chemistry (UNC–CH, 1980).

Dr. Rolison is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Women in Science, the Materials Research Society (Inaugural Class), and the American Chemical Society and received the 2011 ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials, the 2011 Hillebrand Prize of the Chemical Society of Washington, and the 2012 C.N. Reilley Award of the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. Her editorial advisory board service includes Analytical Chemistry, Langmuir, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Advanced Energy Materials, Nano Letters, the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and Annual Review in Analytical Chemistry.

When not otherwise bringing the importance of nothing and disorder to materials chemistry, Rolison writes and lectures widely on issues affecting women (and men!) in science, including proposing Title IX assessments of science and engineering departments. She is the author of over 200 articles and holds 24 patents.

Dr Rolison’s talk is Thursday, April 25th at 7pm in Abbott Hall 101. All are welcome and a reception will follow. 

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Written by School of Graduate Studies

April 24, 2013 at 8:29 am

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