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The University of Tennessee and the National Science Foundation are sponsoring free webcasts of UT chemistry department seminars during the 2004-05 academic year.

The weekly seminars feature prominent chemistry scholars discussing their latest research and taking questions from a live audience in the classroom as well as questions e-mailed to them by webcast viewers.

Archived copies of the webcasts are available for later viewing.

UT Chemistry Professor Dr. Kelsey Cook directs the UT-NSF Research Site for Educators in Chemistry, which has provided support for the programming.

Cook says the webcasts are available to the general public, but they were mainly designed for chemistry departments.

“Many schools don’t have the resources to attract nationally known speakers,” Cook said. “This program provides access to some of the best scientists in the U.S.

“It also allows students and teachers to interact with each other as they discuss state-of-the-art research,” he said.

Dr. Charlie Bass of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., said the webcasts also benefit faculty.

“Since I teach at a small college, our faculty are often too busy to keep a good seminar program going,” Bass said.

“The service that UT provides is fantastic.”

More information about the webcasts is available at the UT chemistry Web site,