Weekly Seminars

The chemistry department hosts a weekly seminar, presented by visiting speakers, students who have completed research, and faculty members. Topics range from academic lectures to discussions about careers and research opportunities in chemistry. College members can view an event calendar in GrinnellShare on the Science Division site. Community members can look on the College Calendar.

For more information, please contact the department chair, Professor Andy Mobley.

Past Chemistry & Biological Chemistry Seminars and Events

  • Grinnell College Chemistry seminars are open to everyone.
  • Presentations subject to change.
  • The Danforth Lectureship aims to bring the most significant practitioners of chemistry to Grinnell College.

Danforth Lectureship Series

Since 1979, the Danforth Lectureship has brought a distinguished chemist to Grinnell each year for a seminar or convocation and interactions with students. The Lectureship honors Joseph D. Danforth, who served on the Grinnell chemistry faculty from 1947-79. After earning his doctorate from Purdue University, Danforth was an industrial research chemist for ten years before joining the Grinnell faculty. During his time at the college he taught and mentored scores of students who have become distinguished students in their own right.

Recent Danforth Lecturers

2014- Joseph S. Franciso, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

General talk: From Earth's Atmosphere to Planetary Enfineering of Mars: An Adventure in Chemistry; Seminar: New Insights into HOCO Radical Chemistry 

2013- Judith P. Klinman, University of California, Berkeley

Concocation: After Science, There's Laundry; Seminar: A Family of Copper Proteins that Perform Oxidative C-H Activation at a Water Interface

2013- Harry Gray, California Institute of Technology

General talk: The 21st Century Solar Army; Seminar: Electron Flow through Metalloproteins

2011- R. Graham Cooks, Purdue University

Seminar: Chemical Analysis in Situ: Operating Rooms, Crime Scenes, Grocery Stores, & Factory Floors

2010- Geraldine Richmond, U. of Oregon

Convocation: Going Nonlinear to Understand Environmentally Important Processes at Liquid Surfaces; Seminar: Oil on Water: Calming the Seas but not the Science

2009- Jonas C. Peters, Mass. Inst. of Technology

Convocation: The quest for earth abundant hydrogen evolution catalysts; Seminar: Multi-electron transformations at low-coordinate iron centers

2008- Robert H. Grubbs, Calif. Inst. of Technology

Design of efficient olefin metathesis catalysts (lecture for chemistry students); Where fundamental chemistry can take you: Following the Olefin metathesis (lecture for general public)

2006- Peter C. Agre, Duke Univ. Medical Center

Seminar: Blueprints for Cellular Plumbing System; Convocation: My Life in Science: From Lake Wobegone to Stockholm; and HHMI Symposium Keynote Lecture: Aquaporin Water Channels - The Nobel Lecture