Bryn Mawr Chemistry Chair Michelle M. Francl Named American Chemical Society Fellow

Posted August 7th, 2009 at 11:53 am.

mfranclProfessor Michelle M. Francl, chair of Bryn Mawr’s chemistry department, is among the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The ACS Fellows Program was created in December 2008 “to recognize members of the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievements in and contributions to Science, the Profession, and the Society.” The first fellows will be honored at the annual meeting of the ACS this month.

Francl’s research examines the development of new methods for studying chemical systems using computational approaches, as well as in the application of theoretical models to problems of interest in organic, inorganic, and biological systems. Her current research looks at the structures of molecules with interesting topologies, such as knotted molecules and molecules shaped like Moebius strips.

Courses Francl teaches include general chemistry, physical chemistry, and quantum chemistry. An entire year of her quantum chemistry lectures from 2005-06 are available as free podcast downloads via iTunes, and her lectures once broke into iTunes’ list of the 100 most downloaded podcasts.

In addition to her teaching and research, Francl is a prolific writer, who through her blogging and other work has sought to bring a greater understanding of and excitement for chemistry to a wide audience. She is particularly interested in, and often writes about, the intersections between science, theology, and culture.

Francl’s blogs can be read at and, and she is a columnist for the journal Nature Chemistry and the Catholic Standard and Times newspaper.

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