Online 2021 Killian Lecture: Susan Solomon

Susan Solomon
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award Lecture

Susan Solomon

Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

4 pm | Captioned webcast with ASL interpretation

Killian lectures often present a retrospective of one's career, so Susan will include a fair amount of personal background and description of her trajectory through life and the ozone layer. She will also briefly describe how ozone depletion stimulated the engagement in chemists in atmospheric science and the development of atmospheric chemistry.   

The 1985 discovery of a massive hole in the Antarctic ozone layer shocked the world and led to remarkable changes in environmental science, public understanding, and policy. In this talk, atmospheric chemist Professor Susan Solomon—recognized by the Killian Award Selection Committee for her scientific contributions and her leadership in the policy aspects of climate change—will briefly summarize how scientific discoveries led to a new understanding of the chemistry that controls the ozone layer, our planet’s essential “sunscreen” against damaging ultraviolet light from the sun. She will also describe how the nations of the world came together in an international process that has now effectively phased out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals. Lastly, Professor Solomonwill discuss some of the evidence that the ozone layer is slowly beginning to heal.

The Killian Lecture will take place online at 4 pm EDT on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. All members of the MIT community are invited; no registration is required. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions for Professor Solomon during the lecture. Contact

About the James R. Killian Faculty Achievement Award and Lecture Series: The purpose of the Killian Award is to recognize extraordinary professional achievement by MIT faculty members and to communicate their accomplishments to members of the Institute community. The recipient of the Killian Award holds the title of Killian Award Lecturer for the following academic year and presents, during that time, one or more lectures to the MIT community on his or her own professional activities. The Killian Award selection is made by faculty members elected by vote of the Faculty from a slate prepared by the Faculty Nominations Committee. Visit the Killian Award and Lecture site.

Webcast link: