Special Editions & Venues: The Warfarin Story; A Discovery Mural; Glassblowing in Chemistry

Coming Up:  the Warfarin saga, a New Mural, and Glassblowing in Chemistry


“Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” Public Science Talks

Wednesdays at 7pm CT

Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI, 


Stream by zoom at go.wisc.edu/240r59

 For 12 October 2022    

Hi WN@TL Fans,

I don’t have an October Surprise to offer, but happily WN@TL does have two October Special Editions at hand over the next two weeks.  


On October 12 we have a Special Double-header as part of the weeklong Wisconsin Science Festival.

Next week we have a Special Venue—Room S429 in the new addition to Chemistry at 1101 University Avenue.  For guidance on parking options, please see https://map.wisc.edu and click on the Public Parking box that will give you real-time information on available parking spaces.  You may want to consider parking under Grainger Hall, since it’s closer to Chem than Lot 20 is.

Since 2006, one of the driving ideas of WN@TL has been to provide a series of public science talks that is regular (Wednesday nights at 7pm at Biotech) and reliable (50 times a year).  Since each year we go dark two or three Wednesdays (before Thanksgiving; one or two at Christmas/New Year’s; maybe the 4th of July) the Special Editions are vital for WN@TL to get to the promised 50.

I note that in baseball a change-up can mess up a batter’s routine; likewise, with WN@TL these special times or venues require extra attention.  Furthermore, in baseball few feats are as satisfying to a batter as hitting a change-up over the fence; likewise, I think you’ll find these presentations especially splendid!



October 12 at 4:00 PM at 440 Henry Mall, Madison, WI


At 4:00 PM come to the courtyard just west of the Biochemistry Building, 420 Henry Mall, for the groundbreaking ceremony for a new National Historic Chemical Landmark as recognized by the American Chemical Society and commemorating the development of warfarin.  At 4:15 move inside to Room 1211 Biochemical Sciences (440 Henry Mall) for a presentation “The Warfarin Story” by biographer Doug Moe on warfarin pioneer Karl Paul Link. 

Register here for this free event.  Or watch the Zoom feed at go.wisc.edu/240r59 or at the WN@TL YouTube site.

Then at 7:00 PM October 12 come to our regular home, Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, for a presentation by Sharon Tang, artist and researcher with the Cellular and Molecular Biology program, entitled “A Landscape of Wisconsin Discovery – The Making of a Mural Bridging Art, Science, and Technology.”  Then stay for a panel discussion with fellow artists Amy Zaremba and Alicia Rheal.

This presentation follows the Opening Reception of the new mural in the Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard, from 4 to 5 pm. 

Description:  Commissioned by WARF, the newly installed “Discovery Mural” at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery celebrates notable Wisconsin scientific innovations, highlights diverse scientific fields, and features underrepresented scientists from the past, present, and future. Join artists Sharon Tang, Amy Zaremba, and Alicia Rheal to learn how they intentionally integrated details into the design and how they hand painted a mural that lies at nexus of art, science, and creative fusion. They will also share the process for how they incorporated QR code technology, allowing the mural to serve as an interactive living portal for educational content delivery and dynamic viewer engagement.


 Sharon Tang, lead artist and speaker

Sharon Tang is an artist and scientist in Madison, WI. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Queens, NY, Sharon took the scenic route while making her way to the Midwest. After completing her undergraduate degree in Studio Art and Russian Studies in upstate New York, she taught kindergarten and 1st grade in Washington, D.C. for several years and then earned her masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology in Baltimore. She finally landed in Madison in 2013 and has made it home ever since.

Sharon creates her own oil and acrylic paintings in her home studio and is broadly driven by the intersections found in discovery, creativity, communication, and connection with others. She is thrilled to combine these interests through mural making to help communities engage in the spaces around them. In addition to painting and designing murals, Sharon is currently a cell and molecular biology PhD candidate at UW-Madison studying wound healing in Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infections of the heart. She believes there is incredible potential to enhance the accessibility of science through art and finds a beautiful balance swapping between petri dishes and paint brushes every day.

Website: www.studiostang.com


Amy Zaremba is a Wisconsin native who spent her childhood enjoying the lakes and forests of the beautiful Northwoods and now makes her home in Madison. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison 2005 and a J.D. from DePaul College of Law. Amy is a muralist and painter through her business, Zaremba Art, and a lead community muralist with Dane Arts Mural Arts.

Amy was coping with non-creative career choices before finally picking up a brush for a living in 2015. The decision to follow a dream comes with a great awareness of the power art has to enrich our lives. Her personal work reflects on the beauty and small joys we can find in the everyday when we take the time to look. Amy’s deep held belief in the great importance art holds in a happy and healthy society led her to pursue work in public art and community murals. Amy has designed and painted murals for over six years and her bright and colorful designs are intended to captivate, celebrate and bring a burst of joy to any space. Her work can be seen on walls in and on businesses, schools, libraries and community centers.

Website: www.zaremba-art.com

Alicia Rheal, a native of New York, has been painting professionally since 1986 when she created her company Rheal Imagination. At the start, the business specialized in painting custom designs on clothing, until 1989, when Alicia started painting backdrops and sets for opera, ballet, television and theater. Since then, Alicia has continued to work as a Scenic Artist for theater, as well as move into the world of Custom Murals and Collaborative Art.

In Wisconsin, she has designed and painted murals for homeowners and businesses, including the Prairie Bookshop in Mt. Horeb, the Iowa County Chamber of Commerce, the Cross Plains Public Library, and EPIC Systems Corporation in Verona. Alicia has also initiated and led many community art projects, including ones for the Walls of Wittenberg, Grandview and the PEC Foundation, and Folklore Village.

Website: www.rhealimagination.com

Explore More: www.discoverymural.wisc.edu




Credit: Andy Warwick    Credit: Bryce Richter


On October 19 we’ll have another special edition of WN@TL to be held in Room S429 in the new Chemistry Addition, 1101 University Avenue, as historian Catherine Jackson of Oxford University returns to UW-Madison and joins with the Department of Chemistry’s glassblower Tracy Drier.  The title of their talk is “Microheterotopias:  Chemistry Meets Glassblowing.”

Note:  The Madison chapter of the American Chemical Society will have a reception featuring pizza starting at 6:30.

Note:  Did someone say pizza?

Description:  The American Chemical Society’s logo includes a triangular graphic representing an item of scientific glassware.  This is the Kaliapparat (potash bulbs).  Desperate to solve one of the most pressing scientific problems of his day, the young Justus Liebig made the first Kaliapparat in the fall of 1830.  Using the Kaliapparat, he became one of the nineteenth century’s greatest chemists.  

But the Kaliapparat altered much more than the course of Liebig’s career.  His decision to make the Kaliapparat by bending and blowing glass tubing changed how chemists worked and were trained, with important consequences for the developing science of chemistry and its relationship to glassblowing.

Managing other worlds in glass – the Microheterotopias of my title – is vital in chemists’ ability to control and manipulate matter.  But making Microheterotopias relies on the skill of the scientific glassblower.  This talk explains what happened when chemistry met glassblowing – and why that connection remains vital today.

Bios:  Chemist, historian, and educator, Catherine Jackson has a passion for using history to understand chemistry’s present and future, as well as its past.

Jackson’s work reshapes our view of nineteenth-century chemistry. Built around practice-based breakthroughs including chemistry’s glassware revolution and turn to synthesis, her forthcoming book Molecular World: Making Modern Chemistry (MIT Press, July 2023) explains a critical period in chemistry’s quest to understand and manipulate organic nature. A sequel volume Molecular Puzzles: Re-thinking the Ring will show that practical utility – rather than theoretical correctness – lay behind the success of Kekulé’s benzene ring.

Catherine M. Jackson is Associate Professor of the History of Science in the University of Oxford, Peck Fellow in History at Harris Manchester College, and Director of the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology.

Tracy Drier has been exploring glassblowing since he was a child. A graduate of Western Michigan University and the scientific glassblowing program at Salem Community College in New Jersey, he is currently the Master Glassblower for the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he works closely with scientists designing, building, and refining chemical glassware to meet their research needs. 

Tracy educates people of all ages about glass and teaches glassblowing in institutions and conferences around the country including the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, the Studio of Corning Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School.

Explore More: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/dr-catherine-m-jackson#/

Catherine Jackson’s forthcoming book: Molecular World: Making Modern Chemistry


Hope to see you soon, in person or by zoom, at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.

Tom ZinnenBiotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H