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Posted: November 12, 2008

Molecules That Matter series showcases 10 organic molecules that profoundly altered our world

(Nanowerk News) The Chemical heritage Foundation's "Molecule that Matters" exhibition and lecture series is more than half way through its run.
The exhibition showcases 10 organic molecules that profoundly altered our world: aspirin, isooctane, penicillin, polyethylene, nylon, DNA, progestin, DDT, Prozac, and buckminsterfullerene. The exhibit connects each molecule to one decade of the 20th century.
Using large-scale models, contemporary art, and a range of historical objects and documents, Molecules That Matter aims to stimulate our awareness of the impact molecular science has on us all, individually and as a society. Each molecule is explored with an evocative array of related cultural artifacts and artworks, while three scientifically accurate models of the chemical structures—at 2.5 billion times actual size—are suspended from the gallery’s ceiling.
Work by the following artists is included in the exhibit: Susie Brandt, Chrissy Conant, Bryan Crockett, Robert Dawson, Melissa Gwyn, Frank Moore, Michael Oatman, Roxy Paine, Dan Peterman, Edward Ruscha, and Fred Tomaselli.
Molecules That Matter was organized in partnership with the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. A board of 10 chemists from higher education, industry, and CHF selected the molecules, with a final review by two Nobel laureates in chemistry.
Attend the Molecules That Matter lecture series at CHF
In conjunction with this exhibit, CHF has been hosting a series of five lectures throughout fall 2008. Five speakers—all leaders in their fields—will address the science in everyday experiences and the promise and peril of discovery and innovation. Following each lecture, guests will have the opportunity to view the Molecules That Matter exhibit and tour the new museum at CHF. Lecturers' Bios A widely celebrated chemical and biomedical engineer, Robert S. Langer is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Langer is a pioneer of many new technologies, notably including transdermal delivery systems, which allow the administration of drugs through the skin without needles or other invasive methods. Eric Roston is senior associate in the Washington, D.C. office of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and a former TIME Magazine writer. His recent book, The Carbon Age: How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat, examines the science of carbon and its seminal impact on human life.
New York-based artist Chrissy Conant's Chrissy Caviar project is displayed in Molecules That Matter. Conant's work portrays deeply personal struggles; Caviar addresses the emotional and physical pressures that the prospect of reproduction places on women in their late thirties.
Heralded as the "new Rachel Carson" by the Sierra Club, Sandra Steingraber is an internationally respected expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. Her acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, presents cancer as a human rights issue. Dawn A. Bonnell is the Trustee Professor of Materials Science and director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She leads the center's Small Times Journal, which is ranked number one in nanotechnology research in the nation.
Source: Chemical Heritage Foundation
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