CSU, Chico News

Bryn Mawr Chemistry Professor to Talk on Contemplative Practices in the Classroom

Date: 02-03-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Margaret DuFon
Department of English

Not many professors, let alone science professors, make the iTunes Top 100 with their lectures, but Michelle Francl’s podcast “Introduction to Quantum Mechanics” broke into the Top 100 in 2005. She will speak at California State University, Chico on Monday, Feb. 7, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in room 107 of the Center for Regional Continuing Education on campus.

Francl is a professor of chemistry and chair of her department at Bryn Mawr College. She is listed by Imperial Chemical Industries as one of the top 1,000 most-cited chemists in the world. She teaches both chemistry and writing and embeds contemplative practices in both courses.

In 2008, Francl was selected as a Contemplative Practice Fellow by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (a multidisciplinary, not-for-profit professional academic association). She is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling, active in the American Chemical Society and the author of “The Survival Guide for Physical Chemistry.”

In the course description for “Quantum States of Being: Incorporating Contemplative Practices into the Chemistry Curriculum,” her winning project for the Contemplative Practice Fellowship, Francl wrote: “By embedding a set of contemplative practices into the teaching of introductory quantum chemistry, this course will demonstrate for students and colleagues the value of these approaches in learning and doing science…” She hopes to provide budding scientists with another set of ways to reflect on their work in relationship to the larger world.

“The world deserves scientists who do not see themselves as masters of nature, able to trick the natural world into their will, but as those who can listen attentively enough to the world to hear its will for them,” wrote Francl.

Francl’s presentation is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Faculty Initiative for Transformative Learning and funded by a CELT (Center for Learning and Teaching) Impact Grant. For further information, contact Margaret DuFon at mdufon@sbcglobal.net or 530-898-6151.