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CEO of Council of Scientific Society Presidents to Present Helen Murray Free Lectures

Madeleine Jacobs, a scientist, journalist, patron of the arts, and advocate for diversity and inclusion, to speak on Oct. 27

17 October, 2016 by Hugh Howard

WOOSTER, Ohio – Madeleine Jacobs, the current president and CEO of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) and former executive director and CEO of the American Chemical Society (ACS), will make a pair of presentations as the speaker of the Helen Murray Free Lectures at The College of Wooster on Thursday, Oct. 27. Both lectures will be held in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.).

The first lecture, “Ten Lessons of a Lifetime of Science,” will begin at 11 a.m. Jacobs will advise how to build a satisfying career while balancing one’s professional and personal lives and staying true to one’s core values in a charming way. Be prepared to nod with recognition, laugh, and even cry, from her first tip, “Never do anything just to please your mother,” to her 10th, “Experiment!”

The second starts at 7:30 p.m., and is titled “The Two Cultures, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Jacobs explores what the two books – C.P. Snow’s influential “The Two Cultures” and Robert M. Pirsig’s 1974 bestseller “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” – have in common. Specifically, she’ll demonstrate why it is imperative for those working in the sciences and those in humanities to join forces and close the chasm between the two cultures. There is no need to have read either book to enjoy the presentation.

Jacobs will likely cite examples from an impressive career, which has mixed her passions for science, journalism, the arts, and diversity and inclusion. As president of CSSP, she heads an organization that serves as a center for national science leadership development, a strong voice in support of science, and the premier forum for national science policy development and open, substantive exchanges on current issues encompassing the full spectrum of science, engineering, and mathematics, according to its website. She served the ACS, the world’s largest scientific society at 157,000 members, for 24 years – 11 as the CEO and eight as editor-in-chief of its weekly magazine, Chemical & Engineering News – and prior to that, was at the Smithsonian Institution where she was chief science writer and director of the office of public affairs.

Jacobs, who has authored more than 300 editorials and major articles, holds a long list of awards. Among them are a Doctor of Science honorary degree from George Washington University and a Smithsonian Institute Gold Medal for Exceptional Service for work in diversity and inclusion, and she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and named one of 100 Women Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) by STEMconnector®.

Helen Murray Free graduated from Wooster in 1945 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Her research in clinical chemistry revolutionized diagnostic testing, particularly the “dip-and-read” glucose tests for diabetics, and she was awarded seven patents for her clinical diagnostic test inventions. From 1987 to 1992, she chaired the ACS’s National Chemistry Week Task Force, and in 1993, she served as president of the ACS. She and her husband, Alfred, were inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2000, and in 2010, the ACS designated the development of diagnostic test strips as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. That same year, she was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama.

Additional information about the lectures is available by phone (330-263-2418) or email.