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Science Cafe: Dr Kabrena Rodda

Home Science Cafe: Dr Kabrena Rodda


Jun 18 2024


5:00 am - 6:00 pm

Science Cafe: Dr Kabrena Rodda


Please join the ACS Richland Section on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 5 pm for a hybrid Science Café hosted at the Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Dr, Richland, WA 99352. Light refreshments will be provided.

Actionable response to and mitigation of chemical threats first requires recognition that a particular chemical should be considered a threat – whether because it is novel, is being used in a new way, or is combined with other, potentially dangerous chemicals. However, comprehensive chemical characterization can take several weeks or months to complete. Delays between when a chemical commodity is put into use and when decision makers determine investigation is appropriate and samples should be collected and analyzed can also occur. Technological advances such as generative AI and microscale synthesis present additional challenges. In a world where novel chemical threats are constantly being identified and our ability to synthesize new chemicals greatly outpaces our ability to understand their hazards and regulate them, recognizing what is likely to be harmful in time to mitigate associated hazards has never been more complicated. This presentation will review recent chemical incidents to highlight the limits of current characterization practices and promote a threat agnostic approach to science and technology development that promises to enable actionable chemical threat recognition and response in an increasingly listless world.

Dr. Rodda, retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Colonel, leads the Analytical Chemistry and Instrumentation (ACAI) Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. During her USAF career, she managed a nonproliferation program and later advised on chemical issues at the National Counterproliferation Center. She holds a Ph.D. in forensic toxicology; three M.S. degrees in chemistry, project and systems management, and national security studies; and a B.S. in chemistry.

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