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Source: Jung Oh, 785-826-2915,
News release prepared by: Natalie Blair, 785-826-2642,

Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010


SALINA -- Donald M. Burland, former executive officer and acting director of the National Science Foundation's Division of Chemistry, will present "What Happened in That 'Warm Little Pond': The Search for the Molecular Origins of Life" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in the College Center Conference Room at Kansas State University at Salina.

His presentation is on the history of the quest for the origin of life and provides possible answers to common questions: Will it ever be possible to know how life started? How can we determine when an area is worth investigating and when it is beyond current scientific prowess? What short-term advances will be made in this pursuit?

Burland received a doctorate in chemistry and physics from the California Institute of Technology. After a postdoctoral stint at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, he joined IBM's Research Division where he served in various research and management positions for 26 years. From 1997 to 2005 he worked for National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry as executive officer and acting division director. He also was a consulting professor in the chemical engineering department at Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and has been a member of the National Academy of Science's Chemical Sciences Roundtable and the American Chemical Society's International Affairs Committee.

The lecture is part of the American Chemical Society National Tour Speaker Presentation and is hosted by the American Chemical Society-Wichita section. It is free and open to the public.