CIITN Conference 2001
The University of Missouri-Columbia
Friday - Sunday, September 21 - 23, 2001.

"The 'Chemistry is in the News' Project"


Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 18:25:13 -0500
From: "(Carol B. Libby)"
Subject: CIITN Conference follow-up


I left the CIITN conference early, missing the last session on evaluation and the conference evaluation itself. I apologize for being tardy in responding, but I got overwhelmed by the semester's duties.

Thank you for organizing a stimulating conference. The mechanics- accommodations, local travel, meals, opportunities for socializing--worked effectively to support the work of the meeting. Nice job! Also, the chance to enjoy your campus and especially to be reminded about its history in the fields of journalism and higher education was great. We easterners need to be reminded of the wonderful large state universities of the midwest.

I am planning to use a CIITN type assignment in the chemistry course I'm teaching this semester; it's for nursing majors and those not majoring in a science. This fall I was planning to make an assignment using the "Newspapers of the World on the Internet" web site in my freshman composition course, which was based on science news in the New York Times. Unfortunately with the many activities required in that course (working on writing skills and grammar, basics of rhetoric, peer reviewing, and keeping up with the New York Times), I never got to use it.

The material introduced by James Groccia was very supportive. I had heard most of it in chemical education circles and also from a good friend who is a curriculum director for a public school system, but the packaging is different.

The mix of participants was very interesting. My experience is teaching in small institutions. My husband has used nontraditional methods to teach chemistry for 25 years. I had forgotten about the very different situation that prevails teaching chemistry in larger institutions. Listening to you and others at the conference reminded me of the very different challenges you face.

I just read a paper on the moral responsibilities of teaching by chemical educators Jeff Kovac and Brian Coppola, which made me think of you. I wouldn't be surprised if it were among the references you've used (my CIITN material is in my other the office, so I can't check), but I'll put it in the mail in case you haven't come across it.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to participate in the CIITN Conference.


December 15, 2001
From: Sue Schelble,

Friends & Colleagues:
Over the Thanksgiving break I had a take home assignment following the pattern on CIITN website for my students in General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. It was received with enthusiasm, and for the most part the work was excellent. I am looking forward to expanding this project over the next few semesters, and getting some of this done over the network.
Happy Holidays,

From: "Sedaghat-Herati, M R"
Subject: RE: CIITN 2001 - Evaluations & Commentary
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 11:31:24 -0500

Dear Rainer,
Thank you very much for organizing the CIITN conference and sharing your experience with us. The meeting was well planned and very informative and as the evaluations indicate everybody was happy and satisfied. Thanks.

Best, Reza Herati

William R. Kwochka, Associate Professor of Chemistry
October 1, 2001


I wanted to thank you for hosting such a wonderful and worthwhile event. There are a lot of possibilities for continuing with this work and I would like to be involved in some of these. With your assistance, I would like to set up a similar program at Western Carolina University.

Once again, thank you. I hope that new baby of yours is not keeping you up too late.

Regards, Bill

28 Sep 2001
From: Joyce Easter


I wanted to send you the link to my first news item:

I hope that you do not mind that I borrowed from your web page and news item format.


25 Sep 2001
Dr. Perry Reeves, Abilene Christian University


Thank you so much for conducting a great conference last weekend. I have already spoken to two of my colleagues about implementing some parts of the project. Also thanks for the great housing arrangements and the lovely meal Saturday night. Best wishes for continued success. PCR

24 Sep 2001
From: Sue Schelble

This morning as I get back into the stress of current academic life, I am bouyed by our recent conference. Thanks Rainer & Jim for the great chance to incorporate worldly events into our classrooms. Thanks to all of you for your contribution of ideas.

Several of you asked for the details on the book I mentioned at our intorductory dinner. It is called:

Voodoo Science (The Road from Foolishness to Fraud) and is written by a physicist, Robert Park (Oxford Publishers). The book addresses topics of science/politics/society/ that have recently been in the media.

Park also has a website with weekly science topics that are currently newsworthy because of their recent political imacts. I am already using this link:

in all of my classes. I encourage students to read it, as well as the newspapers. Some of you may also find this a good source. Even though Park is a physicist, he does cover topics in chemistry, psychology, and biology and the interface of all of these. Most importantly, he is a good starting point for students trying to interpret what they hear and read about science from the media.

Best to all of you,