Next Kaler Science Lecture Explores Molecular Synthesis

Next Kaler Science Lecture Explores Molecular Synthesis

The next James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series at Parkland College's Staerkel Planetarium will delve into molecular synthesis.

On Friday, February 2, at 7 p.m., University of Illinois Professor Martin Burke will present "Imagine a World Where Everyone Can Make Molecules."

For more than 2 million years, we've been creating large tools, yet only in the past 200 years have we started developing small molecular tools, an ability possessed by only a small fraction of us. Ponder the remarkable societal benefits that these small molecule tools, like new cancer drugs or sustainable materials, could provide. Imagine the possibility if everyone had the ability to help create them!

Professor Burke earned his B.A. at Johns Hopkins University, his Ph.D. at Harvard University, and his M.D. at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since joining UIUC, Burke has served as the founding Director of the Molecule Maker Lab and is a founding member of the Molecule Maker Lab Institute. He also played a key role in launching the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. As the first Associate Dean of Research, he led the SHIELD program, which used a rapid-result saliva test to limit the transmission of Covid-19 in the area. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2022.

Following the lecture, the planetarium will show Totality! at 8 p.m. and a light show set to Pink Floyd's album, The Dark Side of the Moon, at 9 p.m.

Kaler Science Lecture tickets are $2 or are free for the Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium. Admission to fulldome shows is $8 for adults or $7 for children, students, or seniors. Light shows are $12 for everyone. Parkland College TV records the Kaler Science Lectures.

Please visit to view the full show schedule or call 217/351-2568 for information about booking the dome for a group visit or event. 


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