International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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TGH Jones Lecture: Tangling with Long Molecules

Activity by Rosalind Boulton   |   added on Oct 18, 2011   |   Australia Official_iyc_logo

Sponsor(s): The University of Queensland, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, The Australian Academy of Science, IChemE

This free lecture will be delivered by Professor Dame Julia Higgins DBE FRS FREng. They are so much part of our daily lives, it is hard to imagine a world without synthetic polymers for packaging, clothing, transport, sport - the list is endless.

4.00 pm – 5.00 pm, Monday 31 October 2011 (followed by light refreshments)

Hosted by

The University of Queensland, School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences

Location: Auditorium - Queensland Brain Institute

Building #79, Upland Road, The University of Queensland, St Lucia

TGH Jones Memorial Lecture is an annual UQ public lecture and is a memorial to the late Thomas Gilbert Henry Jones, who joined UQ as an assistant lecturer and demonstrator in 1915. Following service in WWI as a munitions and explosives producer, Jones returned to UQ as a lecturer in inorganic chemistry, being promoted to professor and head of department in 1940. During his 50 years of service to UQ he was a member of Senate (1944-68), Dean of the Faculty of Science (1942-49 and 1960-61) and President of the Professorial Board (1951-56).

Professor Dame Julia Higgins DBE FRS FREng

Emeritus Professor of Polymer Science in the Department of Chemical Engineering in Imperial College, London. Her research career has focused on the application of scattering techniques, notably neutron scattering, to the understanding of polymer behaviour.  She was Dean and then Principal of the Faculty of Engineering in Imperial College. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.  She is a Dame of the British Empire and a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur. Chair of EPSRC from 2003 to 2007, Vice President and Foreign secretary of the Royal Society 2001 to 2006.  She currently chairs the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education, and is a council member of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


They are so much part of our daily lives, it is hard to imagine a world without synthetic polymers for packaging, clothing, transport, sport - the list is endless.  Some of their chemical names have become household terms - polyethylene, polystyrene - some are known better by their initials only - PVC, PET - they are all around us, yet rarely is the question asked "Why so ubiquitous, what is so special?"

Polymers can stretch or bounce, they are usually electrical or thermal insulators (though electrically active ones are 'hot' developments), they are tough and they are light. In this lecture, we will explore the consequences of the "poly" prefix, which tells us they are enormously long molecules and which give them this package of highly desirable properties.

We shall look at one or two examples of experimental observation that help us understand how the properties are related to the molecular size and shape.  Finally we will consider, too, how to handle such potentially intractable beasts and thus fabricate objects from them.


Monday 31 October 2011

Lecture: 4.00pm – 5.00pm

Followed by light refreshments

Location: Auditorium - Queensland Brain Institute, Building #79, Upland Road,

The University of Queensland, St Lucia

 RSVP by: Wednesday 26 October 2011

RSVP online at:     

Further information is also available by contacting

Ms Rosalind Boulton – SCMB


Or Ruth Meaney RACI Qld Branch Coordinator


Topic: chemistry Audience: students, professors, graduate students
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