Seminars and Colloquia








The Chemistry Department and its affiliated institutions play host to very lively seminar schedules each academic quarter. Consistent with the collaborative, interdisciplinary philosophy present at the University of Chicago, many members of the department regularly attend seminars of relevance in other departments such as Physics and Geosciences.


Chemistry Colloquia

On Monday afternoons during the academic year, the Chemistry Department hosts a guest lecturer who presents work of general interest. Our seminar series is highlighted each year by five endowed lectureships in memory of Chicago graduate Edward Clark Lee and University of Chicago Professors: William Draper Harkins, Morris S. Kharasch, Julius Stieglitz and Robert S. Mulliken.


  • The Karasch lecturer remains in residence at the University for three weeks. His or her stay provides a good opportunity for a thorough exchange of ideas with faculty and students. In recent years Professors Peter Dervan, Kurt Mislow, A. L. J. Beckwith, Ryoji Noyori, Jean Frechet, Marye Anne Fox, Dieter Seebach, Sir Derek Barton, Manfred Reetz, John Groves, and Kyriacos Nicolaou were Kharasch Visiting Professors.


  • The Bloch Lectures are sponsored by the Bloch family in honor of Dr. Herman Bloch.The late Dr. Herman Bloch was an alumnus of the Department, formerly on the research staff of Universal Oil Products (UOP). The PRF (Petroleum Research Fund) was created from assets of UOP.


  • The Wheland Medal is awarded every other year in memory of the physical-organic chemist, George Wheland. Recipients include Frank H. Westheimer, Harden M. McConnell, Nelson Leonard, Fred Wudl, Roberft L. Baldwin, and Robert Grubbs.


  • Most recently, we have created a Mulliken Medal and Lectureship in memory of Nobelist Robert S. Mulliken, a long-time member of this department. The first recipient of this award was Gerhard Herzberg followed by Michael Kasha and Richard Zare.


Named Lectures


William Draper Harkins Memorial Lecture



  • 2015: Professor Sir Richard Friend


Edward Clark Lee Memorial Lecture



  • 2016: Professor Vivian Yam

  • 2015: Professor Christopher Cummins


George Wheland Memorial Lecture



  • 2015: Professor Alanna Schepartz

  • 2014: Professor Benjamin Cravatt


Morris S. Kharasch Memorial Lecture



  • 2016: Professor Robert Grubbs

  • 2015: Professor Phil S. Baran


Herman Bloch Memorial Lecture



  • 2015: Dr. Phaedon Avouris


Robert S. Mulliken Memorial Lecture



  • 2016: Dr. Hans Andersen


Julius Stieglitz Memorial Lecture



  • 2016: Professor Andrew Myers



Career Panel Series

Career Panel Series is a student organized panel series to provide graduate students with an opportunity to interact with alumni from various career fields, such as academia, industrial research and development, government labs, science policy, government agencies, financial consulting and other nontraditional fields. Through this panel, current students and postdocs will become more aware of career choices in various fields and be well-equipped to pursue their career choices.


Seminar Schedules





Seminars begin at 4:00pm in Kent 120. Tea and cookies are in the Kent Lobby at 3:45.



A weekly seminar devoted to various topics of interest pertaining to the study of condensed matter. Held at 12:30pm in the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, room 206.






The JFI seminars cover topics of interest in chemical physics and condensed matter. Seminars begin at 4:00pm in the Research Institutes, room 480. Tea beforehand






Every Wednesday night during the academic year, a seasoned graduate student or post-doc presents his or her work to their fellow graduate students in a very low pressure, fun atmosphere. Wednesday Evenings, 7:00pm. Searle 282.



  • Organometallica


A monthly seminar series of the Inorganic Super Group. Students give a presentation of their ongoing research in a semi-formal environment to students and faculty to gain practice presenting and get valuable feedback for research. Typically held Wednesday evenings in GCIS W301.






A seminar series to foster interdisciplinary research between chemistry and life sciences held in the Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences (GCIS) W301/303 Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m.



A weekly seminar held by the Physics Department, topics are often of interest to Chemists. Thursdays, 4:15pm. In the the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, Room 106.






A weekly seminar focusing on organic and inorganic chemistry. Seminars begin at 1:15 in Kent 120



Weekly seminars held by the Geophysical Sciences Department. Seminars often include topics in cosmo- and geochemistry. 1:30pm and 3:30 pm in Hinds 101






A lecture series that involves in-depth examinations of physical phenomena or theorems which is aimed at the curious, non-scientist. Although many scientists also enjoy these open lectures. Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. in the Kersten Physics Teaching Center, Room 106.