Across the top of the page are pictured from left to right, the speakers at the dedication: Dean Alex Bell, former Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, Nobel Laureate Y. T. Lee, Sir John Meurig Thomas, keynote speaker, and former dean C. Bradley Moore.

from"The Cornucopia of Chemistry"

© 1997 by Sir John Meurig Thomas

...The horn of plenty overfloweth—and its depth is seemingly unfathomable. Such is the bewildering pace with which chemical knowledge is progressing these days, and such are the rates at which important and exciting new phenomena are uncovered, that I recognize that time (and space) will not permit me to mention more than a few... It would be remiss of me, however, not to cite some exceptionally important achievements previously made or currently being elaborated here at Berkeley, achievements which make us reflect on the marvels of chemical science.

Janet and Bill Gerhardt (B.S. '60 ChemE) and Penny Moore taking in the view from the McCollum Room balcony in Tan Hall

Crowded tables at the luncheon.

First I should like to recall a seminal work of the late George Pimentel, after whom this magnificent theatre, where he inspired generations of Berkeley undergraduates, is named. George Pimentel was a brilliant experimentalist, and exceptional teacher and a prodigious author of pedagogically important, as well as scientifically pioneering texts. He was, as much as anyone, responsible for initiating the successful chemical exploration of the atmospheres of the planets of the solar system and their moons. This is now a highly topical subject, with announcements one week of spectroscopic evidence of water and ice on the surface of one of the moons of Jupiter, the next of nitrogenous or hydrogenous atmospheres in other planetary moons. One of the most riveting lectures that I ever heard was given in 1974 by George Pimentel when...he unfolded in his inimitable manner the results of his IRAS Mars probe (of 1969). Berkeley can be rightly proud of leading the way in exploration of the heavens in this exciting way.

John W. Scott (B.S. '41, M.S. '51) outside the laboratory funded by the Alumni of the G. N. Lewis Era

The Cal Band doing what they do best...

But there is so much more of which Berkeley can be proud. I have already referred to the important, pathfinding work now being pursued here in combinatoric chemistry which assuredly will eliminate much tedium and painstaking labour from chemical syntheses. The elegance and Nobel prize-winning quality of work on crossed molecular beams and the insights that this, and related work yield into reaction dynamics, especially into the subtleties of selective photochemistry and photofragment dynamics can hardly be over-emphasized.

Dean Bell looks on as Harry Scheiber and Bruce Stangeland (front, Ph.D. '67 ChemE) from Chevron Research and Technology, try the new computer facility in Tan Hall, sponsored by Chevron.

There is also huge progress in fields as diverse as nanocrystals, mechanistic enzymology, organometallic compounds and their remarkable facility to stimulate unexpected reactions (such as the low-temperature functionalization of alkanes), the synthesis of HIV inhibitors, site-directed mutagenesis, especially its use in exploring mechanisms of enzyme action, catalytic RNA, catalytic antibodies, probing protein structure with an expanded genetic code, new insights into solid catalysts and tribological phenomena, a vast range of biochemical engineering and reaction engineering including the pilot plant and full production of therapeutic proteins, pharmaceuticals and fine and bulk chemicals by biological routes as well as the exploitation of catalytic membranes and the design of novel catalytic systems in which chemical and separation processes are combined.

University Vice President and Provost C. Judson (Jud) King, with wife, Jeanne, and the Dean's wife, Suzanne Bell, awaiting the beginning of the dedication ceremony.

It is of interest to note that, whereas the fundamentals of atmospheric and tropospheric chemistry are pursued among the chemists at Berkeley—and who can forget the seminal contributions of Harold S. Johnston to atmospheric photochemistry and the way that his work alerted the whole world to the kinetic mechanisms responsible for the erosion of the ozone layer—the chemical engineers at Berkeley have recently been focusing on strategies of remediation of the contaminated environment and on reduction or elimination of toxic waste products. But there is much more activity that straddles many subdisciplines, for example molecular astrophysics, electronic materials, the electrochemistry of fuel cells and complex fluids. There are also computational adventures focused on problems as diverse as the nature of primary charge transfer in photosynthesis at the one extreme and powerful thermodynamic calculations of relevance to earth scientists as well as a wide collection of engineers at the other. All this, yet I have not mentioned Pines’ work on multiple pulse and multiple rotation multinuclear solid state NMR!

Chemistry Chair Bartlett hamming it up during Prof. Jeff Reimer's talk on new materials chemistry, with his favorite two-wheeled visual aid. Right, other presenters Prof. William Jolly and Prof. Angy Stacy.

If I were given twice as much time (or twice as much space) it would be difficult for me to do justice to all that has been done or is being pursued here in this renowned temple of chemical science...