The Herschbach teacher/scientist lecture series recognizes scholars who excel both as scientists and as educators. The lecture series honors emeritus professor Dudley Herschbach, a Nobel-prize winning chemist and a devoted educator.
Herschbach received his B.S. in math (1954) and M.S. in chemistry (1955) from Stanford, and an A.M. in physics (1956) and Ph.D. in Chemical Physics (1958) from Harvard. He joined the faculty at Harvard as Professor of Chemistry in 1963. He has received numerous national and international awards for his research, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 for his work on crossed beam molecular experiments.
At Harvard, Herschbach taught classes ranging from graduate courses on chemical kinetics and quantum mechanics, to freshman chemistry. In the introductory chemistry course, he engaged students through parables and poetry, encouraged collaboration over competition, and implemented grading policies that rewarded improvement. Herschbach has also been engaged with efforts to improve K-12 science education and science literacy for the general public.
Each Herschbach teacher/scientist lecturer gives two talks - a seminar on their scientific research, hosted by a relevant department, and a seminar on their work in science education, hosted by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.