2018 John D. Roberts Lecture in JDR’s 100th year!

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On Thursday, October 18, 2018, Professors George Whitesides (Harvard) and David Schuster (NYU) will present the 2018 John D Roberts Lecture at UCLA.

Whiteside SchusterThe event, which will be held at the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute auditorium, will begin at 4:00 p.m. with a lecture by George Whitesides, Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University, followed by remarks about Roberts and his group by David Schuster, Professor Emeritus, New York University. A reception will follow at the UCLA Faculty Center at which accomplished pianist Schuster will perform a short piano concert and tribute to Roberts. The lecture and reception are open to the public. For more information, please contact Nikki Erinakis, nikkie@chem.ucla.edu, 310- 206-4409.

The lecture honors alumnus John D. (“Jack”) Roberts (1918-2016) who was one of the most influential chemists of the last 75 years. Born on June 8, 2018, Roberts would have turned 100 this year. Roberts received his B.A. degree at UCLA 1941 and his Ph.D. in 1944 under the direction of William G. Young. He continued at UCLA as an Instructor from 1944-45. Following positions at UCLA, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Roberts joined the organic chemistry faculty at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1952.

Whitesides and Schuster were graduate students with Roberts at Caltech.  Whitesides received his Caltech PhD in 1964 and Schuster in 1960.

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At the Inaugural John D. Roberts Lecture on May 19, 2016 – Professors Miguel Garcia-Garibay, Marjorie Caserio, Jack Roberts, and Ken Houk.

To learn more about Roberts’ life and accomplishments, read the special tribute to Roberts Professor written by Ken Houk and alumna Dr. Fang Liu (Ph.D. ’14 Houk group) which was published in the February 14, 2018 issue of the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry. 

The Roberts Lecture is made possible by fund raising efforts spearheaded by Professor Houk and Professor Marjorie Caserio, Chancellor Emerita, University of California, San Diego. Caserio was a postdoc in Roberts’ lab in the 50’s and in the 60’s she and Roberts co-wrote the popular textbook “Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry”. 

In addition to supporting the lecture, funds from many former Roberts group members, the Roberts Family, UCLA faculty members, and the Jung matching funds helped to establish the new The John D. and Edith M. Roberts Term Chair in Organic Chemistry.