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Laura Plummer
William T. Patten Foundation

Nancy Webber
Office of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties

Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Patten Lecture Series kicks off 2007-08 season with chemist Richard Zare

Aug. 29, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Since 1937, the William T. Patten Foundation has provided generous funds to bring people of extraordinary national and international distinction to Indiana University Bloomington.

Richard Zare, Marguerite Blake Wilbur professor in natural science at Stanford University, will speak on "Chemical Fizzics: All About Bubbles" on Sept. 4, and "NASA Mission STARDUST: Catching a Comet by the Tail" on Sept. 6. Both lectures will take place in the Chemistry building, room 122, at 7:30 p.m.

Richard Zare

Richard Zare

Zare's area of expertise is the use of lasers in chemistry. He has made groundbreaking contributions to understanding the interaction of atoms and molecules by using lasers to produce fluorescence in the molecules. The same methods can be used to measure the molecules at ultra-low concentrations, a method useful in areas ranging from clinical diagnosis to genome sequencing. For more information on Zare, visit

Remaining lectures in the Patten series, include:

  • Strobe Talbott, president, The Brookings Institution, and former Deputy Secretary of State, will speak Oct. 10 on "Repairs Ahead: American Foreign Policy in the Post-Bush Era," and "India, America and the World," with Jaswant Singh, former Foreign Minister of India, Oct. 11, in Rawles Hall, room 100, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Neta Bahcall, professor of astrophysics, Princeton University, will speak Oct. 23 and 25 in Ballantine Hall, room 109.
  • Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago, will speak Feb. 12 and 14.
  • Gillian Beer, King Edward VII Professor of English Literature and President of Clare Hall (ret.), University of Cambridge, will speak April 8 and 10.

Since the first Patten lecture, more than 180 world-renowned scholars have lectured at Indiana University under the auspices of the Patten Foundation. Noted specialists in their fields, speakers have been chosen for their ability to convey the significance of their work to a general audience. Chosen by a campus-wide faculty committee, Patten Lectures have represented more than 50 academic departments and programs.

William T. Patten received his A.B. degree in 1893 in history from IU. After graduation he settled in Indianapolis, where he made a career in real estate and politics, including serving as county auditor. He remained appreciative of the educational opportunities that IU had afforded him, and toward the end of his life -- in 1931 -- made a gift to the university in the form of liberty bonds and Indiana municipal and county bonds. The gift was to be held as an endowment bearing his name, and the income used for bringing to the campus eminent leaders in their fields for residence and lectures to enrich the intellectual life of the campus.

For a more complete history on William T. Patten and further details on the upcoming lecture series, visit