Media Advisory 18-012

2018-2019 NSF Distinguished Lectures in Mathematical and Physical Sciences

NSF-funded lecturers have pursued cutting-edge research in topics ranging from chemical replacements for rare-Earth metals to multi-messenger astrophysics

Pupa Gilbert developed a method for mapping crystal structures, such as those found in coral.

Pupa Gilbert developed a method for mapping crystal structures, seen in this image of coral.

October 10, 2018

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) invites media and members of the public to its latest distinguished lectures series. The seven lectures will reveal insights into breakthrough research and explore what discoveries science may hold for the future.

The MPS mission is to harness the collective efforts of the mathematical and physical sciences communities to address compelling questions and push the boundaries of scientific frontiers. All 2018-2019 MPS distinguished lecturers have received NSF support that allows them to pursue cutting-edge research in topics ranging from chemical replacements for rare-Earth metals to multi-messenger astrophysics.

Where: NSF headquarters, 2415 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Virginia 22314, located directly across the street from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station.

When: 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET


  • Richard Schrock, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Two Metal-Catalyzed Reactions that Changed Organic Chemistry: The Role of NSF in Work that Led to a Nobel Prize.
    Monday, Oct. 15, 2018
    NOTE: This event will be livestreamed at

  • Xiao-Li Meng, Harvard University: Does Data Size Matter? Absolutely, But Maybe Not in Ways You Expect.
    Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018

  • Theodore Goodson III, University of Michigan: Exploring New Scientific Avenues with Quantum Light and Materials.
    Monday, Dec. 10, 2018

  • Gary Zank, University of Alabama: From the Sun's Atmosphere to the Galactic Edge: Exploring Exotic Plasmas.
    Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

  • Vicky Kalogera, Northwestern University: Cosmic Collisions, Gravitational Waves, and the Promise of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.
    Monday, March 25, 2019

  • Pupa Gilbert, University of Wisconsin: Life Crystals.
    Monday, April 15, 2019

  • Garnet Chan, California Institute of Technology: Quantum Chemistry: Present and Future Directions.
    Monday, May 20, 2019

With the exception of the Oct. 15 talk by Richard Schrock, these events will not be simulcast or recorded.

For all media looking to attend a lecture, RSVP to Josh Chamot at and include your name and news outlet. For all other inquiries, and for non-media wishing to attend, contact Andy Lovinger at Please register at least 24 hours prior to the lecture you would like to attend. Visitors must present a government-issued ID to enter the building. For more information on travel to NSF or building access, please see the Visit NSF webpage.


Media Contacts
Joshua Chamot, NSF, 703-292-4489, email:

Program Contacts
Andrew J. Lovinger, NSF, (703) 292-4933, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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