Its eagerness to acquire electrons can slowly create rust or suddenly produce flame. Its energy can be explosive or exquisitely controlled.
Within our bodies, it supplies life-giving energy but also makes death-dealing changes.
It’s in the air around us, but despite today’s abundance of oxygen, once the atmosphere had almost none.
Do we fully understand oxygen, or is there more to learn about this vital and fascinating element?
Come and find out for yourself at the
Saturday, March 29, 2003
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chemistry Building, Room 1351
The Oxygen Symposium is sponsored by the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, the UW College of Letters and Science, the UW Department of Chemistry, the Wisconsin Section of the American Chemical Society, the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, and the UW Libraries.
PROGRAM (complete version here)

  9:00   Introductory Remarks:   Prof. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri and Prof. John Wright

  9:15   “Where Did Oxygen Come From?” – Prof. Patricia Kiley, Professor, UW-Madison Dept. of Biomolecular Chemistry.

  9:45   Demonstration 1:   Peroxides, oxygen, and combustion.

  9:55   “The Birth of Oxygen: Untangling the Web”Prof. Alan Rocke,  Dept. of History, Case Western Reserve University.

10:25   Demonstration 2:   Reactions of oxygen with glucose and dyes.

10:50   “Marvelous Biological Control of the Reactivity of Molecular Oxygen” Prof. Brian Fox, UW-Madison Dept. of Biochemistry.

11:20   Demonstration 3:   Prof. Marc Fink and members of the Pro Arte Quartet perform the first movement of Quartet for Oboe and Strings, K. 370, by Mozart, a contemporary of Lavoisier.

11:35   “Madame Lavoisier” Prof. Roald Hoffmann, Cornell University.

  1:30   “Toward an Environmentally Friendly Chemical Industry: Selective Chemical Oxidation with Molecular Oxygen” Prof. Shannon Stahl, UW-Madison Dept. of Chemistry.

  2:00   Demonstration 4:   Reactions of oxygen with metals.

  2:10   “The Unmaking and the Making of Chemical Elements: The Chemistry of Salts in the 18th Century” Prof. Thomas Broman, UW-Madison Dept of History of Science.

  2:40   Demonstration 5:   Unusual properties of molecular oxygen.

  3:05   “Oxygen and the Aging Process” Prof. Richard Weindruch, University of Wisconsin Medical School.

  3:35   Demonstration 6:   Measuring oxygen inside and outside the body.  

  3:45   “How to Smuggle Science to the Public” Prof. Carl Djerassi, Dept. of Chemistry, Stanford University.

  4:15   Concluding General Discussion

  4:25   Demonstration 7: The thermite reaction extracting molten iron from rust.