Prof. Jerrold Meinwald, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus died aged 91 on April 23 in Ithaca. He is known for co-founding the field of chemical ecology and was awarded the 2014 National Medal of Science, the highest honor in science and engineering in the country.
After receiving tenure at Cornell, Usher combined his knowledge of chemistry, biology and astronomy to focus on the origin of life, a decision that did not sit well with his Cornell colleagues, he said in an interview.
Why are the most fundamental structural parts of the human body referred to as cells? Robert Hooke, the man who coined the term, thought they looked like cells in a monastery. But without a picture, this analogy would never have been possible. Microscopes, the fundamental instruments that make these pictures possible have gone a long way from 1665, when Hooke made his discoveries. Hooke looked at dead cells while today, we freeze biochemicals to view metabolic processes as they happen.
The recent union drive at Cornell, like those at other campuses across the country, has given a voice to the issues that graduate students face. One of the most pressing issues on which grads have organized is sexual harassment. This issue hits close to home at Cornell, which has more active Title IX investigations than any other university in the nation. For graduate students, facts like this are especially worrisome. Per a 2015 study by the Association of American Universities, grad students were four times more likely to be sexually harassed by a professor than undergrads.
In my first year of college, I made the misstep of taking class at the ungodly hour of 8:00 a.m. Against all advice, I, the beaming young student, was eager to tackle the demons of chemistry in the wee hours of the morning. The folly of my decision would soon become apparent through sleepless nights of composing reports and balancing equations, but for the moment I possessed an unrelenting determination to succeed. After successfully ignoring my alarm for a week, I soon understood that 8 a.m. was not as charming as I had thought, and I numbered the days until I would finally drop the course. On the last day, I decided out of respect for the teacher that I would brave the challenge of the early morning one final time. So I sat in the last row of seats, unsure of whether or not to take notes, feeling an awkward sense of premonition.