11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Chemistry Professor Charley Liberko will deliver the Science Interest Group Lecture "Mishaps in the Chemistry Lab: How to screw up a synthesis, get rich, and transform the world." In 1856, 18-year-old William Henry Perkin had an idea on how to synthesize the antimalarial drug quinine. His naïve attempt didn't even come close to producing the life-saving alkaloid. While most people would have cleaned up and moved on, Perkin noticed that when he went to wash the waste down the drain, the solution had a beautiful purple color. That purple color sparked Perkin's imagination leading him to quit school, risk his professional reputation and his family's fortune, create an entirely new industry, revolutionize the course of agriculture, science, and medicine, and ignite a fashion craze. This is a story of how a scientific failure can, in the hands of a liberal arts minded person, become a triumphant success. Contact: Craig Teague