Professor Lars Öhrström
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
On Tuesday April 27, 2010 at 14:15, Joensuu campus, Lecture hall F100
This is not the story of the elements, nor of their discoverers or of the amazing properties of the 112 basic building blocks of our world that make up the Periodic Table as of today. It is the story of people crossing paths with an element, and the resulting impact giving lasting effects on their lives.
So, I will not tell you about the wonderful colours you get from uranium tinted glass, but about a couple in love, and a British government public relations nightmare of the 1950's. Neither will you hear the amazing story of the discovery of helium; instead I will tell you about the curious incident of the dog in the airship and of a US minister with a mind of his own. You will also learn about chemistry textbook authors “inventing” historical events, and maybe the truth about Napoleon losing his trousers in Moscow.
As lectures work best if the audience is well prepared, associate an element each with the following film stars: Yves Montand, Ingrid Bergman, Julia Roberts, Julia Ormond and Kirk Douglas. Tentative answers will be provided.
As this seminar is intended as a diversion only, the speaker apologises in advance for any kind of real chemistry that may inadvertently slip into the talk.
Lars Öhrström was awarded the 2008 Grez-sur-Loing stipend for natural scientists from the Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation and this seminar is based on some of the research and writing he did at the Hôtel Chevillon, November-December 2008.
Publishing year: 2010Back to this years article listing