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Release: Immediate

Nobel Laureate to give UI Ida Beam Lectures April 9-10

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mario J. Molina, Nobel Laureate and Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor April 9-10, 1997.

Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry with F. Sherwood Rowland and Paul Crutzen for their work in atmospheric chemistry and, in particular, the formation and decomposition of ozone. The award marked the first time that the Nobel Prize has recognized research of man-made impacts on the environment.

Molina will present two lectures during his UI visit, with the first lecture addressed to the general public and the second aimed at researchers. The first lecture, titled "CFCs and Stratospheric Ozone," is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 9 in the Triangle Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union. A public reception will follow at 8:30 p.m. immediately following the talk.

The second lecture, titled "Chemistry on Ice Particles," is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10 in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen Hall. The lectures and reception are free and open to the public.

Molina has been an international leader in developing scientific understanding of the chemistry of the stratospheric ozone layer. He was a co-author of a 1974 Nature article on the use of CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gases in spray cans, air conditioners and other systems that laid the groundwork for the 1985 discovery of an ozone "hole" over the South Pole. In 1987 the United Nations' Montreal Protocol, an international treaty, banned the production of CFCs after 1996. Molina and his colleagues recently demonstrated in the laboratory a fundamentally new chemical reaction in which chlorine is activated on the surface of ice cloud particles in the polar stratosphere, as well as a new reaction sequence to account for most of the observed Antarctic ozone destruction.

Born in Mexico City in 1943, Molina received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1965, a postgraduate degree from the University of Freiburg, West Germany in 1967, and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972. Molina came to MIT in 1989 after holding teaching and research positions at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of

California at Irvine, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He presently holds a joint appointment in the MIT department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and the department of chemistry.

In addition to his many honors, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993 and, in 1994, he was named by President Clinton to the 18-member President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Molina's visit is being sponsored by the UI department of chemistry, the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the College of Liberal Arts Dean's Club and the Ida Beam Visiting Professor Program. Ida Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring a variety of top scholars to the university for lectures and discussions.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI sponsored events. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation in order to participate in these events should contact Hazel Kerr, administrative associate, department of chemistry, at 335-1351. For further information or to schedule a meeting with Molina, contact the department of chemistry at 335-1350.