Lecture Opens Physical Chemistry Webinar Series

By Wendy Plump
Monday, Jun. 8, 2020

The 2020 Summer Physical Chemistry Webinar Series launched last week with an exciting presentation on superconductivity, the first in a summer-long program of talks by professors, postdocs, and graduate students curated for the Frick community.

Initiated by physical chemists Bryan Kudisch and Joseph S. Beckwith, the series was created to fill the void left by the suspension of spring and summer conferences due to the coronavirus pandemic. Emphasizing the importance of public presentations in helping scientists to shape and refine their work, the chemists want the series to highlight Department of Chemistry research that might otherwise go unremarked.

PU Chemistry 2020 Summer Physical Chemistry Webinar SeriesThe series takes place each Tuesday at 4 p.m. through Aug. 4, 2020. It is open to all members of the department via a free webinar platform.

“We really wanted to make this something by physical chemists for physical chemists,” said Kudisch, a fifth-year graduate student in the Scholes Lab. “Can we make our little community at Princeton a bit more familiar with these new virtual presentation skills? No one is doing conference presentations this summer, and those are extremely important for getting your feelers out there. The fact that grad students and postdocs are being deprived of that experience by COVID created a real void. We thought this would be a good way to meet that.”

Beckwith, an SNF early postdoctoral fellow who joined the department in January with funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation, said the series will provide an introduction for new and more recent additions to the chemistry community, including faculty.

“The series is really just for the department, but we invited all of the incoming graduate students as well,” he said. “We also have a new professor, Marissa Weichman, coming in to give a talk about what she’s going to do. This is someone the incoming grad students didn’t have an opportunity to meet, or anyone else. So, it will be good for them to hear her talk and for her to be able to talk to them directly.”

The inaugural presentation last Tuesday, titled “Superconductivity: Where are we and where are we going?” was given by Robert Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry.

The next talk will be presented Tuesday, June 9, beginning at 4 p.m. Access is available via an email sent out on June 2 to all department members.