Chemistry


Ten Stories That Shaped 2020

The past twelve months were a year like no other for Harvard and the world. Under the backdrop of a once-in-a-century pandemic, students took classes from all over the globe, while pushing for social change at the University and on the political stage. Here, The Crimson reviews ten stories that defined 2020 at Harvard.


Chemistry Chair Arrested on Federal Charges

Harvard Chemistry chair Charles M. Lieber — a University Professor renowned for his contributions to nanotechnology — was charged in federal court in January for failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government.


Former Chemistry Chair's Defense Could Tie Federal Charges to DOJ China Initiative, Experts Say

Legal experts say recent court filings indicate University Professor Charles M. Lieber — charged with lying to federal officials investigating his funding sources and ties to China — may try to convince jurors that Lieber was swept up in the Trump administration’s broader anti-China campaign.


Emily Balskus Becomes First Female Harvard Scientist to Win Waterman Award

The Waterman Award recognizes researchers under age 40 “who demonstrate exceptional individual achievements in scientific or engineering research in NSF-supported fields,” according to the NSF. Awardees each receive 1 million dollars to support research in their field.


Harvard Scientists Illuminate Light’s Surprising Impact on Ultra-Cold Chemistry

Harvard researchers uncovered the surprising role of light in ultra-cold chemical reactions, according to an article published last month in the scientific journal Nature Physics.


Former Chemistry Chair Lieber Indicted on Four Additional Felonies for Tax Offenses

Federal authorities charged former Harvard Chemistry chair Charles M. Lieber in a superseding indictment with tax offenses for failing to report income he received from Wuhan University of Technology, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.


Former Harvard Chemistry Chair Lieber Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Former Harvard Chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he lied to federal investigators about research funding he received from China.


Charles Lieber

Charles M. Lieber, Harvard's Chemistry department chair, was recently charged by the federal government for allegedly failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government.


Mallinckrodt Laboratory

Chemistry professors Theodore A. Betley and Daniel Kahne currently serve as interim co-chairs of the Chemistry department, located in the Edward Mallinckrodt Chemical Laboratory.


Senator Marco Rubio Urges Small Business Administration to Re-Examine Grant Policies in Wake of Lieber Arrest

In the wake of Harvard Chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber’s arrest, United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) urged the U.S. Small Business Association in February to ensure recipients of its grant programs do not have connections to governments such as China.


Post-Lieber Arrest, Bacow Says He Stands By Harvard’s Funding Disclosure Policies

In the wake of federal charges brought against Chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber for failing to disclose funding from a Chinese university, University President Lawrence S. Bacow said in an interview Monday that Harvard relies upon the “honesty and good faith” of its faculty to disclose external funding.


In Wake of Lieber Leave, Betley and Kahne Appointed Interim Harvard Chemistry Department Chairs

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay announced the replacements for chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber at a faculty meeting Tuesday. Lieber was placed on administrative leave last week after being charged in federal court with failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government.


Harvard Professor Lieber's Arrest Part of Ongoing Crackdown on Academic Espionage, Experts Say

Lieber’s arrest marked merely the latest development in an ongoing crackdown by the United States government and American universities on “academic espionage,” the process by which scientists pass academic research at American universities to foreign governments.


Lieber News Analysis

Charles M. Lieber, Harvard's Chemistry department chair, was recently charged by the federal government for allegedly failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government.


Judge Sets $1 Million Bail for Chemistry Chair Charged With Lying About China Ties

A federal judge set bail for Harvard Chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber — who is charged with concealing funding he received from the Chinese government — at $1 million cash in a hearing Thursday afternoon.


Lieber Charge

Chemistry department chair Charles M. Lieber was charged in federal court on Tuesday afternoon for failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government.


Organic Chemistry Problem Sets No Longer Graded

This fall, students in Chemistry 17: “Principles of Organic Chemistry” will have one less worry as they take on the notoriously difficult course: For the first time in three years, its problem sets will not be graded.


Years-Long Royalties Dispute Moves to Questions of Liability and Relief

After a federal judge allowed two claims to move forward last month in a multimillion-dollar patent royalties lawsuit filed against Harvard by a former graduate student, both parties filed statements on Monday, highlighting sharp, unresolved divides on issues of liability and relief.


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