Seminars and Lectures

Seminars and Lectures in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology will primarily be held in person unless otherwise noted. Please contact for any questions.

Explore Upcoming Seminars and Lectures

Aggarwal Lectures in Polymer Science

This series of lectures, inaugurated in 1995, is funded by the late Sundar L. Aggarwal PhD '49 (Long), then endowed by family members. The lecture series is held annually, generally in conjunction with Cornell's collaborative Polymer Outreach Program in the Cornell Center for Materials Research. Aggarwal lecturers have included C. Grant Willson, Robert Grubbs, Helmut Ringsdorf, Virgil Percec, Rolf Mülhaupt, Frank Bates, Robert Waymouth, Mitsuo Sawamoto, Andrew Holmes, Timothy Lodge, Glenn Fredrickson, and Jean Fréchet.

Previous Aggarwal Lectures

Andreas C Albrecht Lectureship

The Andreas C. Albrecht Lectureship established in 2006 with the support of alumni, friends, the Albrecht family, and the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, will honor, in perpetuity, the spirit and accomplishments of Andy Albrecht.  The inaugural lecturer was Eric Heller. 

Previous Albrecht Lectures

Short Bio for Andreas Albrecht

Alfred T Blomquist Lectures

This series of lectures is funded by Professor Blomquist's family, former students, and co-workers. The inaugural lecturer was John D. Baldeschwieler, followed by Victor Hruby, Samuel J. Danishefsky, Jack Dunitz, Dennis Dougherty, Guy Ourisson, Karl Anker Jørgensen, Eiichi Nakamura, and Dale Boger.

Previous Blomquist Lectures

Memorial Statement for Alfred Blomquist

Baker Lectures

This is the oldest and one of the most prestigious series of endowed lectures sponsored by a chemistry department at an American university.  Formerly, this was a six-week residency wherein the Baker lecturer gave two formal presentations per week to a large and diverse audience and provided an informal seminar weekly for students and faculty members interested in the subject. The lecturer had an office in Baker Laboratory and was available to faculty and students for further discussion. The Department changed the Baker Lectures to the current multiple-lecturer symposium format in 2008.

Previous Baker Lectures

Covestro Lectures - formerly Bayer Lectures

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.

Focusing on polymer chemistry, this series began in 1987 as the Bayer/Mobay Lectures. The inaugural lecturer was Helmut Ringsdorf, followed by Harry R. Allcock, Dotsevi Y. Sogah, C. Grant Willson, Robert H. Grubbs, Günter Wulff, W.J. Feast, Robert Langer, J. Fraser Stoddart, Fred Wudl, Bert Meijer, David Tirrell, Roeland J.M. Nolte, Hans-Herbert Brintzinger, and Takuzo Aida.

Previous Covestro Lectures

Peter JW Debye Lecture Series

Peter Joseph Wilhelm Debye came to Cornell as a Baker Lecturer in the Fall of 1939 and remained as a Professor of Physical Chemistry and the Chairman of the Chemistry Department. In 1962 when the plan to establish a lectureship in his honor was presented to him, he gave his approval but only with the stipulation that the very highest standards were to be maintained. This condition has been faithfully observed. The first lectures were given in the Spring of 1963 by R.B. Woodward, and he has been followed by a series of distinguished scientists from around the world.

Sponsored by the Cornell section of the American Chemical Society, The first lectures were given in the Spring of 1963 by R.B. Woodward, and he has been followed by a series of distinguished scientists from around the world. Recent lecturers include Robert J. Madix, Charles R. Cantor, Jacob Israelachvili, Jack E. Baldwin, Mark Wightman, Jean Rouxel, Paul Schimmel, Peter G. Schultz, Eduardo Glandt, Theodore H. Geballe, Richard Lerner, Maurice S. Brookhart, Christian Amatore, Stan Williams, Robert Bergman, Robert Cava, Catherine Drennan, and Teresa Head-Gordon.

Previous Debye Lectures

Memorial Statement for Peter J.W. Debye

Halocarbon Corporation Lectures

In 1978 the Halocarbon Products Corporation sent a $20,000 check to the Department of Chemistry. A Special Fund was created with the money and it was left up to the Department on how the money was to be used. The Department decided to use the income from the Fund for outside speakers, especially to ensure the continuity of the Biological Chemistry Lectures, which were started in 1969 and previously supported by the NIH. 

Previous Halocarbon Lectures

Frank and Robert Laughlin Lectures

The Frank and Robert Laughlin Chair of Physical Chemistry is intended to rejuvenate experimental phase science, an important subdiscipline of the field of physical chemistry, and to continue the pioneering spirit that has been a tradition at Cornell for 100 years. Until a suitable candidate is found, Dr. Laughlin has graciously agreed to allow some of the funds to be used to support a visiting professorship in this field. This series was inaugurated in 2000 by Professor Reinhard Strey from the University of Cologne, followed by Henk Lekkerkerker from the University of Utrecht, Heinz Hoffmann from the University of Bayreuth, Frank Bates from the University of Minnesota, David Chandler from the University of California at Berkeley, William Gelbart from the University of California at Los Angeles, and Daan Frenkel from the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, The Netherlands.

Moses Passer Lecture Series

In honor of the late Moses Passer, Ph.D. '48 and former American Chemical Society director of education, his widow, Dorothy Passer, has endowed the Moses Passer Lecture Series in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology. The first lecture was presented in the fall of 2002 with Cornell President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes giving the lecture followed by Charles Casey, University of Wisconsin and the then President-Elect of the American Chemical Society, Arthur Ellis, University of Wisconsin at Madison and the National Science Foundation and David Pimental, Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences at Cornell University, this lecture took place as part of the Challenges of Energy in the 21st Century Symposium.

Previous Passer Lectures

Short Bio for Moses Passer

Roessler Lectures

The series is named in honor of an endowment by the family of Franz Roessler, a German chemist who emigrated to the United States in 1882 to found the Roessler and Hasslacher Chemical Company.  The company became part of Dupont in 1930. Roessler's son, Hans, was a student in Cornell's Department of Chemistry in the early years of the century. Roessler family endowments support a named professorship in the Department of Chemistry as well as lecture visits by prominent scientists from German Universities.

The 1996-97 Lecturer was Arndt Simon from the Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Germany; followed in 1997-98 by Manfred Reetz from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Germany; Spring 1999 by Gerhard Ertl, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Spring 2001 by Klaus Möbius, Free University Berlin, Spring 2002 by Matthias Mann, University of Southern Denmark, Spring 2004 by Karl Wieghardt, Max-Planck-Institute, 2005 Herbert Waldmann from The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, 2006 Albert Eschenmoser from the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, ETH Honggerberg, and 2007 Konrad Seppelt from the Free University of Berlin.