The Ken and Nancy Long Annual Chemistry Lecture

(Ken Long, and Bruce Bursten, 2013 spokesman at the Long Lecture)

Ken and Nancy Long

Ken Long, a native of northern Indiana, was educated in a one-room school at Wakarusa High School, Goshen College, Michigan State University and The Ohio State University. He came to Westminster in 1962 as an Instructor of Chemistry. After promotion to Professor of Chemistry, he served as Chair of the department for 16 years. Earlier he served as Assistant Dean of the College for four years. He taught chemical principles, radiochemistry, a course for non-majors, and Inorganic chemistry, retiring in 2002.

Ken was active in the American Chemical Society and its Penn-Ohio Border Section, a Sigma Xi chapter, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and the Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists. For nine years he was a member of the governing board of Goshen College, serving as secretary, vice-chair and chair of the board.

Nancy, a native of central Ohio, was educated in West Liberty, Goshen College and Clarion University. She was a professional librarian for 20 years in the Shenango Valley Library, serving as children’s librarian, reference librarian and as administrator.

Both Ken and Nancy have long been active in the Mennonite Church in five states. They spent a year teaching English at Northeastern University, Shenyang, China.


Upcoming Ken and Nancy Long Lecture will be on September 26, 2014. Our guest speaker will be Ms. Janet Bryant from the Pacific Northwest National Lab. Ms. Bryant will be speaking on the topic: WHY Women?...WHY Now?...Why it's important to STEM and the Global Economy.


2013 spokeman was Dr. Bruce Bursten, University of Tennessee. speaking of "The Centrality of Chemistry and Some Reflections on Serving as President of the American Chemical Society"

2012 Dr. Charles Taylor,Director of NETL        "NETL: Where Energy challenges Converge and Energy Solutions Emerge."

2011 Dr. Susan Olesik, The Ohio State University
“Personalized Medicine Through the Development of Nanobiomedical Devices”

2010 Scott A. McLuckey '78, Purdue University
“Learning to look “both ways”:  A liberal arts scientist’s musings on competing viewpoints in science and science policy.”

Dr. Scott A. McLuckey earned his B.S. in chemistry from Westminster College in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in 1982 from Purdue University in Analytical Chemistry. Directly following graduation from Purdue, he spent one year as a visiting scientist at the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam. In late 1983, he joined the Analytical Chemistry Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow, the most prestigious appointment that ORNL can bestow upon a beginning professional scientist. In January, 1990 he was named Head of the Analytical Spectroscopy Section, an organization comprised of five groups devoted to basic and applied research in analytical chemistry. During the period of time between the Section Head assignment and McLuckey's move to Purdue, he also led the Organic and Biological Mass Spectrometry Group within the section. In January, 2000, McLuckey moved to Purdue as a Professor of Chemistry within the Analytical Chemistry Division of the department. In 2008, he was named John A. Leighty Distinguished Professor.

McLuckey's research emphases have been placed in the areas of gas-phase ion chemistry and instrumentation for organic and biological mass spectrometry. Fundamental aspects of ionization, unimolecular reactions, and bi-molecular reactions have been studied with the goal of improving the capabilities of analytical mass spectrometry. Attention has been focused on Ionization by glow discharge, positrons, and electrospray. Ion activation, ion/molecule reactions, and ion/ion reactions have been major focal areas within the context of the mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry experiment. Instrumentation for tandem mass spectrometry has also been highlighted with emphasis on electrodynamic ion traps and ion trap/hybrid instruments. The major current areas of emphasis are the identification and characterization of macro-molecules, primarily via whole molecule tandem mass spectrometry, and ion/ion reaction chemistry. Recognition for the work has included the Beimann Medal from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry in 1997, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Scientist of the Year in 1999, The Curt Brunneé Prize from the International Mass Spectrometry Society in 2000, the American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Chemical Instrumentation Award in 2007, and the ANACHEM Award in 2008.

"Learning to look "both ways": A liberal arts scientist's musings on competing viewpoints in science and science policy."

Scott A. McLuckey

John A. Leighty Distinguished Professor
Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Many of the issues and choices that we face in society are defined by competing "world views" and/or divergent values. An everyday example is the conflict between "personal freedom" and "collective security". Real or perceived dichotomies can be found at many levels, although they are often not widely recognized. It is important to recognize them, however, in order to understand the "big picture". The liberal arts tradition emphasizes understanding relationships and how things fit together at a level that allows for a grasp of the big picture. Examples of real or perceived dichotomies in science include "basic" versus "applied" research and "need" versus "serendipity" as the underlying source of invention. While some popular dichotomies may be false, they are important because they often underlie science policy as well as the values individual institutions or groups place on particular activities. Our educational system generally does not provide young scientists with particularly broad perspectives. Rather, the emphasis is focused on training and education that is highly technical and discipline-related. This approach prepares scientists to perform well as individual actors in the progress of science but does not equip them to help shape science policy. This lecture relates one mid-career liberal arts scientist's continuing and incomplete effort to recognize the underlying factors at play that determine the values individuals and institutions place on issues of relevance to science and science policy. As such, it is intended to be more provocative than definitive with the ultimate objective of stimulating the thinking of the audience.

2009 Terrence J. Collins, Carnegie Mellon University
"Green Chemistry: Sustaining a High Technology Civilization"

Terrence J. Collins, Ph.D. is the Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he has taught since 1987. Professor Collins is one of the founders of the field of Green Chemistry. He is the Director of the Institute for Green Science at CMU and also an Honorary Professor at and Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Among his many research awards is the 1998 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. Terry Collins has invented small molecule catalysts that activate natural oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide to clean water of numerous pollutants and pathogens. He developed the first university course in Green Chemistry starting in 1992, a course that is now forming the basis of a free on-line course in green chemistry that is under development. Collins writes and lectures widely about the importance and promise of chemists turning their prodigious inventive talents towards eliminating hazards from chemical products and processes.

"Green Chemistry: Sustaining a High Technology Civilization"

Terrence J. Collins

Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University

Over the last century, science and technology have given humanity immense and unprecedented power over the welfare of the ecosphere. As a result, trans-generational justice must take the center of our civilization's ethical stage. The term "sustainability" captures our insecurity over the viability of the civilization we have built. The underlying reasons for our sustainability dilemma will be reviewed in a historical context. In our increasingly crowded world, common chemicals that once seemed harmless clearly are not. As the field of green chemistry expands, chemists are turning their inventive talents towards eliminating hazards from chemical products and processes as an important practical acknowledgement of our obligations to future humanity. Examples of green chemistry developments will be presented.

2008 Kim Dunbar '80, Texas A & M University
"Metals in Medicine Throughout the Ages:  From Ancient Egypt to Victorian England to the 21st Century"

Kim R. Dunbar was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania to Frank and Bernice Dunbar. Kim received a B.S. from Westminster College in 1980. She received an Eastman Kodak Award in College Chemistry in 1979, the Lubrizol Foundation Award in 1980, and the Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh Award in College Chemistry in 1980. Her thesis work was performed at Purdue University under the direction of Professor Richard A. Walton and was selected by Sigma Xi as the top Purdue Ph.D. dissertation in 1984. After working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratories of Professor F. A. Cotton at Texas A&M University, and briefly in the laboratories of Professor Alan Davidson at MIT, Kim joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 1987 and then returned to Texas A&M University in 1999 where she is a Distinguished Professor and the first female Chair holder in the history of the College of Science at Texas A&M University (The Davidson Chair of Science). Her research spans topics in synthetic and structural inorganic chemistry with a focus on the design of conducting and magnetic molecular materials and antitumor properties of metal complexes. She received Distinguished Alumna Awards from Westminster College in 2000 and Purdue University in 2004, and a Distinguished Faculty Award from Michigan State University in 1998. Her major professional honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award and a Sigma Xi Research Award in 1998. Dr. Dunbar is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemists, and received the inaugural Texas A&M Association of Former Students Graduate Mentoring Award in 2006. She is an Associate Editor for the ACS journal Inorganic Chemistry and immediate past Chair of the ACS National Division of Inorganic Chemistry for which she formerly served as Secretary for three years.

Metals in Medicine Throughout the Ages: From Ancient Egypt to Victorian England to the 21st Century

Kim R. Dunbar, Distinguished Professor and Davidson Chair of Science

Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University

The pharmaceutical industry and medicinal chemistry, in general, is dominated by organic drugs. There is certainly no disputing this fact- or is there? Many consumers and patients do not realize that inorganic compounds have played an important role in health maintenance and medicine, and that numerous medical terms and concepts in use today were actually coined by chemists studying metal-based compounds. In fact, inorganic compounds have been used for medicinal purposes for more than 5,000 years. In Egypt copper was used to sterilize water and zinc was used to heal wounds. In Arabia and China, gold was used in many medical applications. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used mercury and other metals to treat ulcers and numerous other ailments. During the Renaissance period, Europeans used mercurous chloride as a diuretic and recognized the nutritional value of iron.

In the early 1900's inorganic compounds in medicine began to be explored in a more rational manner. Gold salts were found to be active against rheumatoid arthritis and antimony compounds were shown to be effective in treating tropical diseases which typically involve deadly parasites. The most notable discovery of that period is attributed to Paul Ehrlich who studied arsenic (Salvarsan) for the treatment of syphilis. Arguably, the biggest impact of metals on modern clinical medicine, however, is the result of an accidental discovery by Barnett Rosenberg in the 1960's that led to the development of the drug cisplatin, a platinum compound that is nearly 100% effective in eradicating testicular cancer. Many elements previously considered to be non-essential to life are now realized to be of crucial importance, for example numerous transition metals are now recognized to be key players in the activity of various enzymes in our bodies that carry out important reactions and main group elements such as selenium, which is toxic in high doses but is an essential dietary element that is required for normal thyroid function and acts as an antioxidant when incorporated into proteins and reduces the incidence of lung, colorectal and prostate cancer. Another example is boron, which has yet to be designated as being essential for human health, but is effective for treating osteoporosis and facilitates healthy bone synthesis, including beneficial consumption of calcium and magnesium. Boron also helps regulate the endocrine system.

Presently, inorganic compounds are in widespread use as medicinal agents for the management and diagnosis of many diseases and dysfunctions. Excellent examples are the use of: lithium carbonate for treating bipolar disorder and depression; barium sulfate for gastrointestinal X-ray tests, gadolinium (Gd3+) salts as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, aluminum and bismuth as antacids; iron, zinc, and antimony as toothpaste additives; aluminum and zirconium as ingredients in antiperspirants; zinc in healing ointments (Zincofax®); magnesium, selenium and zinc in antiseborrheics, chlorine and iodine in germicides and tin in tablets for boils and acne (Stanoxyl®). In the field of radiopharmaceutical diagnostics, a-emitting radiopharmaceuticals such as technetium (99mTc) are widely used, the most important one being Cardiolite® which is used to diagnose heart damage.

This lecture, dedicated to my first inorganic professor and mentor, Dr. Kenneth Long, will take you on a journey through the history of metals in medicine, from superstition and foolish vanity to modern medical applications.