My research weaves together the flow, structure, and function of polymers, and over the years, I have come to appreciate the unexpected ways that those themes are woven into my life and work. The projects I’ve worked on may seem unrelated, but they are connected by my love of seeing how molecules move, the flow. I enjoy using the knowledge gleaned from these projects to then design polymers to fulfill new functions. Looking back, I see that the polymeric systems I decided to study and the methods I chose to use from NMR methods to observing dynamics in polymers to x-ray and neutron scattering methods to watch structure emerge, were influenced by my desire to work with people who inspire me.
This lecture celebrates the flow of thoughts, ideas and inspiration and reflects on the structure of our intellectual community and its function of perpetuating traditions of mutual support. For me, this pursuit of the unexpected and finding inspiration within this community is a recipe for finding joy in doing science. I look forward to hearing about your experiences after my talk.