News Service


James Vary, IITAP, (515) 294-3555
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland, a well-know authority on atmospheric chemistry and one of the first scientists to warn the public about the environmental dangers of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), will give a talk on Feb. 15, at 8 p.m., in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

The topic of Rowland's talk will be "Two Atmospheric Problems: Stratospheric Ozone Depletion, and Smog at Earth's Surface" The talk is part of a University Lecture Series on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.

Rowland, along with Mario Molina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and Paul Crutzen, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of Earth's ozone layer. Rowland's work focused on the effects CFCs have on the ozone layer.

CFCs are human-made chemical compounds that were widely used in a variety of industrial processes and commercial products, most notably air conditioners and large-scale refrigeration systems. Rowland was one of the first scientists to warn the public that CFCs, when released into the atmosphere, were depleting Earth's ozone layer. The ozone layer protects humans from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

Rowland's research led to legislation in the U.S. regulating the manufacture and use of CFCs. In 1987, the World Congress developed a treaty for the worldwide phaseout of CFCs.

Rowland is the Donald Bren Research Professor at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member and the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Rowland's visit to Iowa State is sponsored by the ISU President's Office and the International Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics, a collaboration between Iowa State University, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and several industrial partners.

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