The CaltechY hosts a Friends Dinner once every quarter to thank its supporters and provide them with an opportunity to network with the Y’s student leaders. Each event features one special speaker. In the past, there have been artists, professors, film makers and more. This time, it was one of Caltech’s chemistry professors, Peter Jonas, who spoke about the vision surrounding the new Resnick gift.
The dinners are all held at the Athenaeum. Since this event was pretty close to Christmas, the Ath was completely decked out in holiday decor, making it venue seem extra grand. Of course, since its the Ath, there is great food. The menu that night featured a fancy salad, roast chicken and veggies and the most delicious chocolate lava cake I’ve ever had. I gave an intro for the evening, welcoming people to the event and welcoming the featured student speaker of the night, and while doing so, people were already distracted by the food. Luckily, the main speaker of the night was programmed after the dessert.
I mentioned previously that the talk was centered around the Resnick gift, but it also touched upon a lot of the current sustainability research at Caltech. One of the major incentives is artificial photosynthesis. I won’t go into details about the content of the talk, because my understanding of the contents is actually quite shallow. However, the idea is that we are quite close to being able to synthesize sugars from more abundant sources in our atmosphere. This makes me a lot more hopeful and excited about the sustainability of carbon-intensive industries.
I am not sure who is speaking at the next Friends Dinner in the spring. When it does happen, I will provide you with a more detailed synopsis. The photo below is taken by photographer Bob Paz.