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Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture

2017 Ullyot Lecturer Marcia McNutt

In 1990 chemist Glenn Edgar Ullyot endowed a public lecture with the Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society. The goal: that this annual lecture would inform the audience of how chemistry, biology, and the sciences in general contribute to the public welfare.


In the years since, esteemed scientists, journalists, government and business leaders, and even Nobel laureates have addressed audiences at this popular lecture. It is presented jointly by the Science History Institute (where the lecture has been held since 1997), the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of the Sciences, and the Philadelphia Section and Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society.

About the 2017 Lecturer: Marcia McNutt

Marcia McNutt

Marcia McNutt

Marcia McNutt

On November 16, 2017, Marcia McNutt delivered the 28th annual Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia.

Marcia McNutt is a geophysicist and the 22nd president of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2013 to 2016 she was editor in chief of Science journals.

McNutt was director of the U.S. Geological Survey from 2009 to 2013, during which time USGS responded to a number of major disasters, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For her work to help contain that spill McNutt was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association of Geodesy. Her honors include membership in the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 McNutt was awarded the AGU’s Macelwane Medal for research accomplishments by a young scientist, and she received the Maurice Ewing Medal in 2007 for her contributions to deep-sea exploration. 

McNutt received a BA in physics from Colorado College and a PhD in earth sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


Previous Ullyot Public Affairs Lecturers

The Ullyot Lecture has presented since 1990, jointly with the Institute since 1997. Lecturers that have presented at the Institute are


About the Sponsors

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania is composed of a dynamic community of researchers creating and disseminating new knowledge at the forefront of the chemical sciences. As an enabling science, chemistry is at the focal point of every important modern societal challenge. Our faculty and students engage these challenges daily on a local, national, and international scale.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of the Sciences is the home of the chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmaceutical chemistry majors, and the chemistry, biochemistry, and bioinformatics minors. With expertise distributed over all five of chemistry’s primary areas, the faculty engage in diverse, award-winning teaching and research activities that prepare students for such future opportunities as employment in industry, science teaching, and postgraduate training in graduate schools, medical school, and law school.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals, and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. The Philadelphia Section and Delaware Section are cosponsors of the Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture.