CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Nobel Laureate to give UI Ida Beam Lectures April 9-10
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mario J. Molina, Nobel Laureate and Lee and Geraldine
Martin Professor of Environmental Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT), will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Beam Distinguished
Visiting Professor April 9-10, 1997.
Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry with F. Sherwood Rowland
and Paul Crutzen for their work in atmospheric chemistry and, in particular,
the formation and decomposition of ozone. The award marked the first time
that the Nobel Prize has recognized research of man-made impacts on the environment.
Molina will present two lectures during his UI visit, with the first lecture
addressed to the general public and the second aimed at researchers. The first
lecture, titled "CFCs and Stratospheric Ozone," is scheduled for
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 9 in the Triangle Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial
Union. A public reception will follow at 8:30 p.m. immediately following the
The second lecture, titled "Chemistry on Ice Particles," is scheduled
for 2:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10 in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen Hall. The
lectures and reception are free and open to the public.
Molina has been an international leader in developing scientific understanding
of the chemistry of the stratospheric ozone layer. He was a co-author of a
1974 Nature article on the use of CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gases in spray
cans, air conditioners and other systems that laid the groundwork for the
1985 discovery of an ozone "hole" over the South Pole. In 1987 the
United Nations' Montreal Protocol, an international treaty, banned the production
of CFCs after 1996. Molina and his colleagues recently demonstrated in the
laboratory a fundamentally new chemical reaction in which chlorine is activated
on the surface of ice cloud particles in the polar stratosphere, as well as
a new reaction sequence to account for most of the observed Antarctic ozone
Born in Mexico City in 1943, Molina received a bachelor's degree in chemical
engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1965, a postgraduate
degree from the University of Freiburg, West Germany in 1967, and a doctorate
in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972.
Molina came to MIT in 1989 after holding teaching and research positions at
the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the University of California
at Berkeley, the University of
California at Irvine, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California
Institute of Technology. He presently holds a joint appointment in the MIT
department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and the department
In addition to his many honors, he was elected to the National Academy of
Sciences in 1993 and, in 1994, he was named by President Clinton to the 18-member
President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Molina's visit is being sponsored by the UI department of chemistry, the
UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the College of Liberal
Arts Dean's Club and the Ida Beam Visiting Professor Program. Ida Beam, a
native of Vinton, willed her farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university
connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With
proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring a variety
of top scholars to the university for lectures and discussions.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI sponsored events.
Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation in order to participate
in these events should contact Hazel Kerr, administrative associate, department
of chemistry, at 335-1351. For further information or to schedule a meeting
with Molina, contact the department of chemistry at 335-1350.