January 20, 2006 Meeting
Dr. Catherine Middlecamp Dr. Catherine Middlecamp

Distinguished Faculty Associate,

Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin - Madison,

The Radium Girls and The Firecracker Boys

Date:  Friday, January 20, 2006
Location:    Manzo's Banquets
1571 S. Elmhurst Road
Des Plaines, IL

Cost:  $28.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $30.00 for non-members,
     $14 for students or unemployed

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-647-8405), fax (847-647-8364), email (chicagoacs@ameritech.net), or web by noon on Wednesday, January 18.  PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all dinner orders.  No-shows will be billed.


5:00 - 6:00  PM Job Club
6:00  PM Social Hour
7:00  PM Dinner
8:15  PM Program

The Radium Girls and The Firecracker Boys

Abstract:    Our world always has and always will contain radioactive substances.  But only in the past century did humans discovered radioactivity and put it to various uses.  This presentation will interweave two stories of radioactivity in real-world contexts. The first concerns the radium dial workers, women who in the 1920s used radioactive paint to create glow-in-the-dark watches.  The second relates to Edward Teller and other physicists who in the 1950s proposed to create a harbor in Alaska using thermonuclear devices (Project Plowshare).  These topics connect with issues relevant both now and in the years to come, and serve as examples of how to engage students by integrating chemistry and culture in the classroom.

Biographical Sketch:  Catherine Middlecamp is a Distinguished Faculty Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holding a joint appointment in Chemistry and in the Integrated Liberal Studies Program. Her recent accomplishments include being elected as a Fellow of the AAAS (2003) and a Fellow of the Association for Women in Science (2004), receiving the Alliant Underkofler Excellence in Teaching from the University of Wisconsin System (2004), and being selected as the recipient of the 2006 ACS Award for Encouraging Women in Careers in the Chemical Sciences.

Middlecamp has been a co-author for 4 editions of Chemistry in Context, a project of the American Chemical Society, including the upcoming 6th edition.  She is a senior scholar for the national SENCER project, Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities.   Middlecamp did her undergraduate studies at Cornell University (1968-72), graduating Phi Beta Kappa.  She was awarded a Danforth Fellowship for graduate study and earned her doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976.

Map and Directions

Parking:   Free


Updated 1/10/06