Meeting/Event Information

    "Climate Change and Our Responsibilities as Scientists" - Prof. Bassam Shakhashiri (Univ. Wisconsin - Madison) - Public Affairs Meeting

    March 12, 2015
    5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
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    Cafe La Cave
    2777 Mannheim Rd
    Des Plaines, IL 60017


    A livable climate is essential for us, so it’s important to have a basic understanding of the atmospheric mechanism that maintains the climate. Because the mechanism is based on fundamental physics and chemistry, scientists, including chemists, bear a responsibility for understanding climate science themselves and helping others who are not scientists be attentive to the issues relevant to maintaining the climate.

    Communicating the science of climate change provides one example where the scientific community must do more. Climate change affects everyone, so everyone should understand why the climate is changing and what it means for them, their children, and generations to follow. Scientists are already members of groups that can facilitate this communication: neighborhoods, school boards, religious groups, service clubs, political organizations, and so on. These groups present opportunities to engage in respectful conversations on climate change and on the policies and actions that individuals, communities, and nations might take to mitigate and adapt to what is happening to our planet.

    Science and technology continue to reshape the world we live in, and appreciating how these changes, both intended and unintended, come about is a necessity for all citizens in a democratic society. Scientists have a responsibility to help their fellow citizens understand what science and technology can and cannot do for them.


    • 5:00 - 6:30  Registration & Social Hour with cash bar
    • 6:30 - 7:30  Dinner
    • 7:30 - 7:40  Introductory remarks by Chicago ACS Chair Inessa Miller
    • 7:40 - 8:30  Public Affairs Lecture by Prof. Shakhashiri


    • Soup of the day
    • Squillo Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries
    • Entrée choice of either a
      • Breast of Chicken Combination (Sautéed Breast of Chicken with fresh mushrooms & shallots with a Sherry Cream Sauce and Sautéed Breast of Chicken with Shiitake mushrooms with a Marsala Wine Sauce),
      • Seared Salmon with a Ginger Sauce, or
      • Fresh Vegetables with Pasta;
    • Anna Potatoes; medley of fresh vegetables
    • Chef selection dessert; a variety of breads; beverage.


    Bassam Z. Shakhashiri is an advocate for policies to advance knowledge and to use science and technology to serve society.  He is the first holder of the William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair at UW-Madison and is well known internationally for his effective leadership in promoting excellence in science education at all levels, and for his development and use of demonstrations in the teaching of chemistry in classrooms as well as in less formal settings, such as museums, convention centers, shopping malls and retirement homes. His scholarly publications, including the multi-volume series, Chemical Demonstrations: A Handbook for Teachers of Chemistry, are models of learning and instruction that have been translated into several languages. He promotes the exploration and establishment of links between science, the arts and the humanities, and the elevation of discourse on significant societal issues related to science, religion, politics, the economy, and ethics. Professor Shakhashiri was the 2012 president of the American Chemical Society.

    Professor Shakhashiri is a native of (Anfe, El-Koura) Lebanon, coming to the United States in 1957 when Bassam was 17 years old, with one year of college (at the American University of Beirut) behind him. He completed undergraduate work at Boston University (Class of '60) with an A. B. degree in chemistry, served as a teaching fellow at Bowdoin College for one academic year and then earned M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry at the University of Maryland ('64 and '68, respectively).

    After a year of post-doctoral research and two years as a junior member of the chemistry faculty at the University of Illinois-Urbana, Professor Shakhashiri joined the faculty of the UW-Madison in 1970, a position he still holds. In 1977 he became the founding chair of the UW System Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council, now called the Office of Professional and Instructional Development. In 1983 he founded the Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) and served as its first director. His work with ICE inspired the establishment of the Center for Biology Education, the Merck Institute for Science Education, the Miami University (of Ohio) Center for Chemical Education, the Sacred Heart University SMART Center, and others. In 2002 he founded the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) and continues to serve as its director.

    From 1984 to 1990 Professor Shakhashiri served as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Science and Engineering Education. As the NSF chief education officer he presided over the rebuilding of all the NSF efforts in science and engineering education after they had been essentially eliminated in the early 1980's. His NSF strategic plan launched the systemic initiatives and most of the other NSF education programs of the last two decades.

    Professor Shakhashiri has given over 1400 invited lectures and presentations in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and South America. He has been featured in newspapers, magazines, national and local radio and television including the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, the German-language Business Week, NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio, CNN, and the Larry King show. He appears as a regular guest on the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio.

    Professor Shakhashiri is the recipient of over 35 awards, including Outstanding Lecturer of the Year in General Chemistry, University of Illinois (1969 and 1970), the 1977 Kiekhofer Distinguished Teaching Award from UW-Madison, and the 1979 Manufacturing Chemists Association Catalyst Award. He is the youngest recipient of two of the American Chemical Society's (ACS) most coveted recognitions -- the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry (1983) and the ACS George Pimentel Award in Chemical Education (1986); he has been a member of the ACS since 1962. In 1982 he was given the Ron Gibbs Award of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers for "outstanding contributions to science education at the local, regional, national, and international levels." In 1987, he was cited for distinguished public service by the District of Columbia Science Education Association, the National Science Teachers Association, the South Carolina Academy of Science, and the Boston University General Alumni Association.

    He received the 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, "for his tireless efforts to communicate science to the general public, and especially children." In 2004 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the national chemistry fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma. In 2005 he received the Madison Metropolitan School District Distinguished Service Award for a Citizen, the Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Chemists, the ACS Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach for "lifelong accomplishments and for explaining and demonstrating science with charisma and passion," and was cited in the Answer Book of Capital Newspapers as the "coolest UW professor." In 2006 he received the Rotary Senior Service Award from the Rotary Club of Madison. In 2007 he received the National Science Board Public Service Award and was cited for "extraordinary contributions to promote science literacy and cultivate the intellectual and emotional links between science and the arts for the public." In 2008 he received the inaugural Emerson Science Advocacy Medal from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and was cited for "distinguished, sustained, and lasting contributions in the development of the sciences." The Wisconsin State Superintendent, Tony Evers, named Professor Shakhashiri a "Friend of Education" in 2013, and in that same year, he was awarded the Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

    Professor Shakhashiri is an elected fellow of a number of scientific academies and has received numerous honorary doctoral degrees.



    $35.00 Member

    $37.00 Non-member

    $20.00 Student/Unemployed/Retired

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - natural canvas

    $0.00 Lecture only