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Lyceum Society March 2021 Meeting




for Members

Lyceum Society March 2021 Meeting

Monday, March 1, 2021, 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM EST


Presented By


Welcome and Introductions: 11:30 am to 11:50 am

News and Updates: 11:50 am to 12:00 pm

Preliminary Presentation: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Speaker: Stuart Kurtz

Topic: Haber, Bosch, and the Alchemy of Air: Part 2 - Biography

Outline: There will be a brief summary of Part 1 – Science, talking about the brilliant inventions which have led to the discovery and scale up of the critical process that makes it possible to feed the world. Part 2 discusses how Fritz Haber's life was dominated by his passion for chemistry and to gain acceptance as a true German. He was honored, obtaining a Nobel Prize for Chemistry and appointed as head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry. It ended in tragedy with many seeing him as a war criminal. Karl Bosch was one of the most brilliant Engineers ever. He solved key problems and created the world's most efficient chemical plants for production of Ammonia and synthetic gasoline. As an anti-Nazi, he stood out against Hitler but died a broken man.

Stuart Kurtz graduated from MIT with an SB in Chemical Engineering and from Princeton with an MS degree in Polymer Engineering and an MA and PhD. in Chemical Engineering. He taught at RPI and in Brazil as Professor Titular in Materials Engineering. This was followed by a research career in industry accumulating around 30 patents and publishing at least a few good papers. He now focuses on Philosophy of Science and Physics and climbing mountains because they are there. He has spoken to the Lyceum Society many times; most recently in January, 2018 when he spoke on the topic: Lessons from Science Lysenko, Velikovsky and the Demarcation Problem; In February, 2018 he spoke on Geoengineering for Climate Change Mitigation. In April, 2019 he spoke on Does Time Flow? In December, 2019 he reviewed the Nobel Prize in Physics for that year.

Main Presentation: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Speaker: Eszter Varga, Former Junior Academy (JA) Member, 1000 Girls 1000 Futures Student, and current JA Mentor

Topic: Saving Katrina’s Aftermath

Outline: Natural disasters have resulted in a significant economic, and human sacrifice for millennia. We acknowledge the reality that parallel, severe natural disasters will become more common with climate change. Existing methods create irrational incentives that will result in unnecessary future harm as well as avoidable costs. Their immediate and long-run treatment is in need of a global update. Our student team is proposing a solution consisting of a regional database created through the use of forms sent out to citizens living in disaster-prone areas.

CV: Eszter is currently studying at Virginia Tech where she is the only Hungarian female Aerospace Engineering student at the college. She is the current president of the Society of Women in Aviation in Aerospace and is dedicated to research along with her passion for space. She works as an Undergraduate Laboratory Assistant at Frith Laboratory. She also works on radio-controlled planes with Design Build Fly (DBF) and is working toward her Private Pilot’s License. While a Member of the Junior Academy, she led her team to win the Natural Disasters Challenge, and she now works as a Mentor for other Junior Academy Challenge participants.


Nonmember Student, Undergrad, Grad, Fellow
Member Student, Post-Doc, Fellow