American Chemical Society

Lucy Perkins / WFAE

So you want to go to college and major in chemistry? Didn’t think so. The number of students in the major has never been big at small liberal arts schools. Some schools, like Davidson College, are making it easier to complete a chemistry major to attract more students. 

Davidson professor Erland Stevens is teaching organic chemistry to a group of about 15 students. To an outsider, this class probably doesn’t look any different than it did a year ago – tired students following along as best they can for 8:30 a.m. But, it used to have a different name. In fact, all of Davidson’s chemistry classes have changed names as a part of a big retooling of the chemistry department.

American Chemical Society

Oct 17, 2012
Horia Varlan/Flickr

Chemistry is a huge part of our lives. It's in our clothes, the food we eat, the cleaners we use to clean our homes, the sprays we use to maintain our yards and the lotions and toiletries we use on our bodies every day. It's also a part of corporate life, the food and water supply and in the defense of our country. Chemicals are everywhere. Dr. Shakhashiri knows this as well as anyone. He is the President of the American Chemical Society and he's coming to Charlotte to talk about the role of chemistry in some of society's biggest issues.