Meeting/Event Information

    Zafra Lerman: "Science Diplomacy in the Middle East: the Malta Conferences and their Lasting Impact", plus Distinguished Service Award, 50-,60-year awards, WCC Mix-and-Mingle with Iota Sigma Pi

    June 18, 2015
    5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
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    Zhivago Restaurant
    9925 Gross Point Rd
    Skokie, IL 60076

    Human rights, distinguished service, honors for our most experienced members, and game-show fun - you'll find them all, and more, at the June 18 meeting of the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society!


    Science is a potent force for promoting human rights. Science diplomats working with the American Chemical Society have successfully prevented executions, freed prisoners of conscience, and helped scientists escape persecution. Using scientific collaboration to help promote stability in the Middle East, the Malta Conferences bring together six Nobel laureates with scientists from Israel, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and many other Middle Eastern countries for scientific discussions on neutral territory. For ten years, the Malta Conferences Foundation has provided this multinational forum where scientists may safely and freely identify unique opportunities for collaboration to meet the scientific and technological challenges of the region. The conferences last for five days and deal with issues of science education, air and water quality, and alternative energy sources, among other topics of mutual interest. This work has the support of the Nobel prize-winning Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Committee of Concerned Scientists, the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and, of course, the ACS.  In this talk, we’ll explore the enormous impact of science diplomacy, the ACS’ support for human rights, and how the Malta Conferences have become a powerful force for peace on the world stage, resulting in lasting scientific and technical collaborations that establish peaceful ties across otherwise hostile borders. 


    The Chicago Section Women Chemists Committee will have a Mix-and-Mingle jointly with Iota Sigma Pi during the social hour at 5:30 PM before the dinner meeting. WCC invites all social hour attendees to join them in a game-show format with chemistry-based questions that will be fun and informative.


    Every year the Chicago Section recognizes a member who has contributed to an extraordinary level over the years. This year the Distinguished Service Award goes to Richard Cornell.


    Every June we pay special recognition to our most experienced members - those who have been with ACS for 50 and 60 years. 


    • 5:30 - 7:30  Registration
    • 5:30 - 6:30  WCC Mix-and-Mingle
    • 5:30 - 6:30  Social Hour with cash bar
    • 6:30 - 7:30  Dinner
    • 7:30 - 7:35  Presentation of the Distinguished Service Award to Richard Cornell
    • 7:35 - 7:50  Presentation of the 50- and 60-year member awards
    • 7:50 - 8:45  Main Talk: Dr. Zafra Lerman


    Choice of: 

    • Chicken Kiev 
    • Salmon 
    • Potato-stuffed Pierogis with a side of Vegetables 



    Zafra Lerman is the President of the Malta Conferences Foundation. She received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She conducted research on isotope effects at Cornell and Northwestern Universities in the US, and the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. She developed an innovative approach of teaching science at all levels using the arts and cultural backgrounds, which received international recognition, and has lectured around the world.

    For 25 years, she had chaired the committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights for the American Chemical Society (ACS). At great risk to her safety, she was successful in preventing executions, releasing prisoners of conscience from jail and bringing dissidents to freedom.

    Since 2001, she has been using Science as a Bridge to Peace in the Middle East, through the Malta Conferences, which brings together scientists from 15 Middle East countries with six Nobel laureates to work for 5 days on solving regional problems, establishing cross-border collaborations, and forging relationships that bridge chasms of distrust and intolerance.

    Dr. Lerman has received over 40 national and international awards for her work, among them the Presidential Award from President Clinton (1999); the World Cultural Council's World Award for Education in Johannesburg, South Africa (2000, the first international award in the new democratic South Africa); the ACS Parsons Award for outstanding public service to society through chemistry (2003); The Royal Society of Chemistry, England, Nyholm Education Award (2005); New York Academy of Sciences Pagels Human Rights for Scientists Award (2005); George Brown Award for International Scientific Cooperation from CRDF (2007); the ACS Pimentel Award for excellence in chemical education (2010); The International Conference on Chemistry for Mankind (India) Award for Stimulating Collaborations and Ensuring Human Rights (2011); the AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy (2015); and was honored by the U.S. Congress with a speech “Science Diplomacy in the Middle East” (2013), just to name a few. Her work was featured on many television stations and covered by newspapers and magazines around the globe. 


    From Chicago:  Take Lake Shore Drive north to Sheridan Road into Evanston. Continue north on Sheridan Road and turn left on Central St. Turn left on Gross Point Rd. and proceed to the restaurant.

    From the NU Tech Institute: Go North on Sheridan Rd. and turn left on Central St. Turn left on Gross Point Rd. and proceed to the restaurant. 

    From Edens Expressway heading North: Take Dempster east to Gross Point Rd. Turn left on Gross Point Rd. and proceed to the restaurant.

    From Edens Expressway heading South: Exit on Old Orchard Road.  Go east to Gross Point Rd. Turn right on Gross Point Rd. and proceed to the restaurant.

    PARKING: Free


    Zhivago's is located in Skokie near the corner of Old Orchard Rd. and Gross Point Rd. The Pace #201 bus runs very close, East/West along Old Orchard Rd. and Central St. Here are good routes and estimated travel times to get to the meeting from nearby major research universities:

    (~ 20 min from Tech. Inst. on the #201 Pace Bus)
    University of Chicago 
    (~ 1 hr 57 min from 59th & Ellis)
    University of Illinois at Chicago 
    (~ 1hr 21 min from Chem Dept, 845 Taylor)
    Loyola University 
    (~ 48 min from Loyola Red Line CTA)
    Illinois Institute of Technology 
    (~ 1 hr 34 min from Chem Dept.)
     View Photos


    $35.00 Registration for Thursday, June 18, 2015 Dinner Meeting

    $37.00 Non-member

    $20.00 Student, Unemployed, Retired Member

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - natural canvas

    $10.00 Tote bag: CHICAgO elements - blue

    $0.00 Lecture only