Meeting/Event Information

    Best selling author Sam Kean presents "The Disappearing Spoon"

    November 20, 2019
    5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
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    Concordia University Chicago
    7400 Augusta St
    River Forest, IL 60305

    Sam Kean

    Best selling author

    "The Disappearing Spoon"


    Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? How did radium nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? The Periodic Table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it’s also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The Disappearing Spoon delves into every single element on the table and explains each one's role in science, money, mythology, war, the arts, medicine, alchemy, and other areas of human history, from the Big Bang through the end of time.

    This special International Year of the Periodic Table event is hosted jointly by the Joliet and Chicago Local Sections.

    Book sales and signing to follow presentation.


    NOTE 7:45 PM start time for main presentation.  Dinner and other pre-lecture events will be held at a location a short walk from that of the main presentation.
    6:00 pm @ Student poster session (SLL, Koehneke Community Center 2nd Floor)

    6:30 pm @ Pre-dinner presentation (OPRF, Koehneke Community Center 2nd Floor)
    6:45 pm @ Dinner (OPRF, Koehneke Community Center 2nd Floor)
    7:45 pm @ Sam Kean Presentation (Chapel of Our Lord)
    8:45 pm @ Book Sales and Author Signing (Ferguson Art Gallery, immediately outside the Chapel)

    Koehneke Community Center (#14 on campus map) - SLL is the foyer outside the OPRF (Oak Park-River Forest) room where dinner will take place
    Chapel of Our Lord (#5 on campus map) is located across a sidewalk from Koehneke Community Center

    Copies of Sam Kean's books will be available for sale and signing following the lecture. 



    MAIN SITE (With live speaker): Concordia University



    Undergraduates can present posters describing their research, and the best one will win a prize! Register your poster here:

    Register for student poster session





    Vince Hradil in lab

    Vince Hradil

    Concordia University

    “Teaching History of Science using Tournament-style Competitions

    Abstract:  “Teaching With Tournaments” ( was used as part of an Honors Program seminar course on History of Science. Students competed against each other using various types of presentations including artwork, debates, and skits to determine the most influential scientist in three historical eras: Ancient Times, Pre-Scientific Revolution, and Post-Scientific Revolution.. I’ll be presenting some examples and discussing observations from my experience.

    Bio:  Vince Hradil is teaching chemistry and physics at Concordia University following a decade as a Senior Scientist at Abbott. His role there was to develop and implement software to analyze large multidimensional data sets (MRI and PET) in support of the small animal imaging laboratory. Vince has a BS in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Cornell University.

    DINNER - Main site only:

    Buffet dinner will be available.

    Caesar Salad with Anchovies and Croutons (Ranch Dressing)
    Sauteed Chicken Marsala
    Oven Roasted Herbed Red Potatoes
    Balsamic Herb Roasted Vegetables
    Chocolate Mousse 
    Dutch Apple Pie
    Assorted bottled regular and diet soft drinks


    *** EXTENDED****  Dinner Registration Deadline : November 18 @ 12 noon
    Lecture-only Registration Deadline: Nov 18, 2019 (space is limited, register soon!)

    QUESTIONS OR NON-WEB RESERVATIONS?  Please contact the Section Office via phone (847-391-9091) or email ([email protected]).


    Sam Kean is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including The Bastard Brigade, The Dueling Neurosurgeons, and The Disappearing Spoon. His stories have appeared in The Best American Nature and Science Writing, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and Slate, and his work has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab,” “Science Friday,” “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air.”




    Concordia University Chicago
    7400 Augusta Street, River Forest IL 60305

    Map & Directions:
    Parking lot and garage are adjacent to Koehneke Community Center (#14 on campus map), accessible from Bonnie Brae (netween Augusta and Division)


    To be determined


    $20.00 MAIN SITE DINNER-ACS Member


    $0.00 MAIN SITE - Lecture only registration

    $15.00 T-shirt: CHICAgO Elements

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - blue

    $0.00 Donation to Project SEED (flexible amount)

    $0.00 Individual Donation (flexible amount)

    $0.00 Company Sponsorship (flexible amount)