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TTU News

The German chemist popularly known as the “father of chemical warfare” will be the subject of a public lecture on Thursday, Sept. 21, at Tennessee Tech University.

Independent writer and radio producer Daniel Charles will present the discussion — titled “Interpreting Fritz Haber, Chemistry’s Hero, Villain and Victim” — at 7:30 p.m. in the Northrup-Clayton Auditorium (233) of Foster Hall.

Charles contributes regularly to National Public Radio’s technology coverage, and he is the author of the book Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare (Ecco, 2005).

Haber received the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of synthetic ammonia, an important component of both plant fertilizers and explosives. He also worked to develop and deploy chlorine and other poison gases during World War I.

Charles also wrote a book titled Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money and the Future of Food (Perseus, 2001), which deals with the topic of genetically engineered crops.

From 1993 to 1999, he was a technology correspondent for NPR.

As a contributor, he covers a wide swath of advanced technology, including telecommunications, energy, agriculture, computers and biotechnology. He’s reported for NPR from India, Russia, Mexico and various parts of Western Europe.

Before joining NPR, Charles was a U.S. correspondent for New Scientist, a major British science magazine.

He is currently serving as interim editor on NPR’s National Desk, responsible for coverage of the environment and the western United States.

His lecture, part of the chemistry department’s Colloquium Series, is free and open to the public.