Intro by Caroline Cole
Vozza Professor of Chemistry Susanna Widicus Weaver arrived at UW–Madison on May 27, 2020, to conduct research in prebiotic astrochemistry and how life may form with the evolution of planets. Weaver received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University (2000) and her Ph.D. in chemistry at California Institute of Technology (2005). She most recently was an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Emory University.
WHAT MADE YOU PURSUE SCIENCE AND RESEARCH?
I’ve been interested in science since I was a small child. I was always fascinated by space. I was thrilled in high school when I discovered that you could combine chemistry and astronomy. My entire career path since then has been guided by this passion.
WHAT DRIVES YOUR PASSION FOR TEACHING?
Anyone who has a degree in chemistry can tell you that most students fear physical chemistry. ACS used to hand out “Honk if you passed pchem” bumper stickers. My teaching goal is to make pchem less scary for students.
WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT COMING TO UW–MADISON?
I am a Midwest farm girl who studies astrochemistry. I’m so thrilled to be back in the Midwest with such an amazing opportunity to advance my research.