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Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture

Science History Institute/Rachael Balascak

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 History and Sociology of Science 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.

The Ullyot Lecture includes a Q&A session and the presentation of the Liberty Bowl to the lecturer.

The 2023 Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture will be presented by Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi.

Carolyn Bertozzi by Christopher Michel

Carolyn Bertozzi in 2022

Cmichel67, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Carolyn R. Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical & Systems Biology and Radiology (by courtesy) at Stanford University, the Baker Family Director at Sarafan ChEM-H, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Harvard University in 1988 and received her PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993. After completing postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco, in the field of cellular immunology, she joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. In June 2015 she joined the faculty at Stanford University as an Institute Scholar at Sarafan ChEM-H.

Bertozzi received the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her role in founding the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, a term she coined, and for “taking click chemistry to a new level” with a set of chemical reactions that allow scientists to explore cells and track biological processes without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell.

Listen to an oral history interview with Carolyn Bertozzi >>

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 our Copresenters

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 History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania uses the tools of the humanities and social sciences to study science, technology, medicine, and the environment. Through a broad range of scholarly projects, faculty research examines relations between the technical practice of scientists, engineers, medical researchers, and clinicians and the material, social, political, and cultural context in which those practices occur. Interdisciplinary study, faculty-student interaction, and individual mentoring characterize both the graduate and undergraduate programs.

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.