About the Speaker & Program
Dr. Matthew Shindell is a historian of science and curator of planetary science at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Shindell recently completed a biography of the American Chemist, Harold C. Urey. In his talk he will share Urey’s story of scientific success, starting from his days as a child in Indiana.
Urey was born in Walkerton, Indiana, and grew up in his parents’ hometown of Corunna, Indiana. Although his early education was modest, Urey eventually went on to study science at the University of Montana and the University of California, Berkeley. He traveled the world, meeting physicists like Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, and returned to the US where, in 1934, he won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of a heavy isotope of hydrogen. Urey’s success brought public attention, and it also led to his involvement in large scientific projects of the 20th century – the Manhattan Project during World War II, and eventually NASA’s program of lunar and planetary exploration.