Nobel Prize Winner to Speak at A&M International's Sánchez Lecture Series

A lecture by Nobel Prize winner and chemist Dr. Mario Molina will be one of the activities taking place on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, at Texas A&M International University.

Molina, whose lecture will be the fifth and last presentation of the 1998-1999 A.R. Sánchez Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series, will speak about the "Depletion of the Ozone Layer: Consequences for the Environment."

The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

Molina, 1995 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and a native of Mexico City, will share the vision that led him and two of his colleagues to the discovery of the detrimental effects of products such as spray cans and air conditioners on the ozone layer.

Molina's study of the effects of cholorofluorocarbons (CFC) on the atmosphere started as a mere scientific curiosity when he joined the University of California, Irvine as a postdoctoral fellow in the early 1970s. At that time, CFCs were not thought to have significant effects on the environment.

As Molina and his fellow researchers continued their study, they found startling evidence that the large amounts of industrial CFCs, if released continuously into the atmosphere, would cause significant damage to the earth's stratospheric ozone layer.

In the wake of this alarming finding, Molina and his fellow researchers launched a massive campaign to communicate the imminent danger not only to other scientists, but also to policy makers and the news media. Their efforts paid off and in 1995, Molina, along with F. Sherwood Rowland of the University of California at Irvine and Paul Crutzen, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Today, Molina is a professor of atmospheric chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served on the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology and as an advisor to NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The recipient of multiple national and international awards, he has the distinction of being the first person not living in Mexico to be inducted into the Mexican National Academy of Engineers.

Other Earth Days activities at A&M International will include a tree planting ceremony Thursday, April 22 at 1 p.m. at University Boulevard, and a yucca transplant Friday, April 23 at 1 p.m. at the East Parking Lot of the University

For further information about the A.R. Sánchez Distinguished Lecture Series, please call the College of Arts and Humanities at 326-2460. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu