Clair Cameron Patterson lecture on environmentalism and the role of data. During this talk, we will go through the fascinating history of how a geo-chemical scientist with an obsession of making precise measurements of radio-isotopes: Clair Cameron Patterson, accidentally discovered the source of one of the worst pollutants humankind has ever created: tetra ethyl lead.
We will also discuss the current state of data driven sustainability and environmental decisions and what will the future hold for tools such as: data-science and artificial intelligence in minimizing the environmental impact of humans.
About Clair Cameron Patterson:
Patterson was born on June 2nd, 1922, in Mitchellville, Iowa. He graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in chemistry, obtained his masters in molecular spectroscopy from University of Iowa, followed by his work in Manhattan Project at University of Chicago and then at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After the second world war, he joined the Division of Geology at California Institute of Technology.
At Caltech, Patterson along with his former PhD adviser Harrison Brown built a lab from scratch and used the spectrometers at Argonne National Lab to estimate the age of the earth using radio-isotope dating to be 4.550Gy ± 70My.
During his work on precise quantification of radio-isotopes, Patterson came across the environmental impact of anti-knock gasoline additive: tetra ethyl lead.
Patterson became a leader in the campaign against lead poisoning and the petro-chemical industry practice of using tetra ethyl lead as an anti-knock additive. His work culminated in the ban of tetra ethyl lead gasoline additives around the globe, including the United States.
Aims and objectives:
This aim of this lecture is to convey the importance of public activism for scientists, the current state of those efforts and the bright future ahead in addressing planetary scale challenges such as climate change, impact of plastics, accelerated extinction of species due to increased un-sustainable human activities etc.
This event is hosted at: WeWork 222 Broadway, Room 20B. Please sign-in under Sarah Rocinos, the host. Limited seating, with only 12 seats available, on a first-come first-seated basis.