Dr. Byron Rogers Lecturing

Departmental Philosophy

The question the chemist seeks to answer is, “How is this observed phenomenon explained on the molecular level by the interaction of the atoms involved?” The chemist’s point of view is the scientist’s point of view—that observations can be explained if studied in the right way and that phenomena can be better understood and utilized if a correct explanation can be found. We design and carry out an experiment in a lab to figure out that molecular explanation that we cannot yet see. A biologist may try to solve the problem from a macroscopic level, looking at whole organisms, tissues and cells. But a chemist always gets down to a smaller level, looking for a molecular explanation, by looking at the actual atoms colliding. We can then make a statement of what the next step should be, such as an improvement in the explanation of the observed phenomena. This could lead to new techniques to eliminate bacteria from public food supply, a new enzyme that can breakdown biowaste into a renewable fuel source—the possibilities are endless. At LCU you will have a chance to find these explanations and run these experiments yourself. Your professors focus on teaching techniques that help you learn the chemistry and research techniques that let you ask and answer important questions.