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American Chemical Society CEO to Speak

Lectures to focus on cultures of scientists and humanists, challenges facing women in science

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February 22, 2011 | by Megan Fellman
Madeleine Jacobs
Madeleine Jacobs
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Madeleine Jacobs, the executive director and chief executive officer of the American Chemical Society, will deliver two public talks this week as the Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University.

Both events are free and will be held at 4 p.m. in the Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road.

Thursday, Feb. 24, room LR5: “The Two Cultures, Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

Jacobs will discuss what the book “The Two Cultures” by C.P. Snow has in common with the 1974 cult book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig. She will weave together the disparate threads of the two books and explain why it is imperative that scientists and humanists work together to close the chasm between the two cultures. 

Friday, Feb. 25, room LR4: “The Challenges Facing Women in Chemistry and Other Scientific and Engineering Fields”

Forty years ago, Jacobs was a young reporter at Chemical & Engineering News magazine who became intrigued by the disparity in salaries between female and male chemists. During her career she never lost interest in gender equality. Jacobs will trace what has happened over four decades and discuss the challenges that remain for women scientists and engineers today.

Prior to joining the American Chemical Society in 2004, Jacobs served as editor-in-chief of Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN). She worked for C&EN from 1969 until 1972, then pursued a career in science writing and public affairs for 21 years. Jacobs returned to C&EN in 1993.

Jacobs’ visit is sponsored by Northwestern’s department of chemistry, with generous support from the Edith Kreeger Wolf Endowment in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The endowment brings to campus scholars, professionals and public figures, with the goal of deepening students’ familiarity with accomplishments women have brought to their fields of scholarship, the arts, public service and the professions.

For more information, contact Theresa Collins (847) 467-3946 or theresa-collins@northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life