• Nobel laureate William E. Moerner
    Credit: Kevin Lowder

First-ever McConnell Lecture to be Given at Caltech April 24

Stanford chemist and Nobel laureate William E. Moerner will give inaugural lecture

A collection of former students, research associates, colleagues, and family members joined together to establish, in 2017, the Harden M. McConnell Lectureship at Caltech. The annual lectureship, named in honor of McConnell (PhD '51)—who taught at Caltech for more than a decade and is widely recognized as one of the leading physical and biophysical chemists—aims to bring to the campus outstanding scientists to present on physical chemistry research.

The first McConnell Lecture will be given by Stanford chemist and Nobel laureate William E. Moerner on April 24. Sunney Chan—an honorary Caltech alumnus, supporter of the lectureship fund, former master of student houses, and currently Caltech's George Grant Hoag Professor of Biophysical Chemistry, Emeritus—will present opening remarks. Chan credits McConnell with dramatically altering the course of Chan's career by encouraging him to come to Caltech in the early 1960s.

"Harden McConnell was a remarkable scientist," said Jacqueline K. Barton, Caltech's John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry and holder of the Norman Davidson Leadership Chair in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. "His contributions to physical chemistry were extraordinary, and much of his work and ideas are still practiced today.

"This lectureship is a fitting way to honor [McConnell] and to celebrate Caltech's great legacy of research and teaching in chemistry," Barton added. "We thank our alumni and friends who wanted to give back for making it possible."

For more about McConnell and the endowed lectureship, please read more on the Break Through campaign website.

 

Written by Shayna Chabner McKinney