Donna Nelson, Professor of Chemistry, University of Oklahoma and the American Chemical Society President (2016)
Donna J. Nelson is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma. Nelson specializes in organic chemistry, which she both researches and teaches. Nelson’s career has focused on five primary topics of research generally categorized in two areas, Scientific Research and America’s Scientific Readiness. Within Scientific Research, Nelson’s topics have been on mechanistic patterns in alkene addition reactions and on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube (SWCNT) functionalization and analysis. Under America’s Scientific Readiness, she focuses on science education, which includes classroom innovations and correcting organic chemistry textbook inaccuracies, on ethnic and gender diversity among highly ranked science departments of research universities, and on improving the image and presentation of science and scientists to the public. Nelson has also served as a science advisor to the AMC television show Breaking Bad. She is the 2016 President of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The “Nelson Diversity Studies,” which began in 2002, were the first to disaggregate science and engineering faculty by race, rank, gender, and discipline. This work had a major impact on NSF ADVANCE programs around the country and other efforts to diversity STEM faculty. She is the 2018 University of Washington Mary Ann and John D. Mangels Lecturer. More information about her public Mangels lecture on January 10th can be found online: http://grad.uw.edu/public-lecture-series/donna-nelson-2.