The Edgerton Lectureship

for Energy and the Environment


The Edgerton Lectureship brings visiting scholars to Kenyon College to address energy issues in a public lecture for a general audience, and to provide opportunities for interaction with students, faculty and community members in classes, department seminars and social events. With a theme of sustainable energy and the environment, lectureship topics will focus on the challenges of continued dependence on fossil fuels, the impact of their combustion on the environment, and alternative sustainable energy systems.

Upcoming Speakers and Events

Spring 2010

Matthew L. Wald,  journalist with the New York Times and contributor to Scientific American magazine

"A Low-Carbon Diet for the Planet"

April 1, 7:30 PM, Higley Auditorium     download poster


In theory, we are committed to cutting our carbon dioxide output by 80 percent by 2050. In practice, we've got a grab-bag of solutions - some wind, some solar, some reactors, some efficiency - that don't yet add up to a strategy. The only thing that has cut carbon so far is a recession. What are our options? Our strengths and weaknesses?

Past Speakers and Events

Fall 2009

The Beehive Design Collective,  Machias, ME website

"The True Cost of Coal"

October 16, 2:00 PM, Cheevers Seminar Room


In 2008, the Beehive Design Collective allied with Appalachian grassroots organizers fighting Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining, a practice which blasts mountains into moonscapes to fuel the ever-growing global demand for electricity. Our team of volunteer artists and educators are putting in countless hours designing "The True Cost of Coal," a a visually stunning graphic multi-tool for activists and ordinary folks seeking real solutions.

Spring 2009

Charles A. Hall,  SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse. website

"Peak Oil, EROI, and Your Financial Future"

March 31, 7:30 PM, Higley Auditorium download poster


Dr. Hall is a systems ecologist who began his career studying life in freshwater systems. He is best known for developing the concept of EROI, or energy return on investment, which examines how organisms, including humans, invest energy in obtaining additional energy to improve their biotic or social fitness.


Greg Melville, author of Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fast Food Fueled Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future. website

"Your Fries Give Me Gas"

April 20, 7:30 PM, Higley Auditorium download poster


Journalist Greg Melville, graduate of Kenyon College, asks: “Is it possible to drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump?” With his college buddy Iggy riding shotgun, he sets out on an enlightening road trip. The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car.


Fall 2008

Quentin Kelly, Founder and Chairman of WorldWater & Solar Technologies (WW&ST) Corporation. website

"Ideas Without Borders"

October 1, 7:30 PM, Higley Auditorium download poster

Mr. Kelly will also participate in a discussion of environmental careers in the for-profit sector at common hour on October 2 in Peirce Lounge.

Spring 2007

Nathan Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor and Professor of Chemistry at Cal. Tech. website

"Scientific Challenges in Sustainable Energy Technology"

February 1, 7:30 PM, Higley Auditorium download poster


read his essay: "Renewable Energy: Chemists will play a significant role in the efforts to develop alternatives to fossil fuels"

Prof. Lewis will also present a colloquium "Fuels from Sunlight Using Semiconductor Electrodes" at common hour on Feb. 1 in Tomsich 101.

Fall 2006

David Orr, Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies, Oberlin College, website


"Life on the Edge: Climate Change and Intergenerational Rights"

September 20, 7 PM, Higley Auditorium download poster

"Energy and Environmental Sustainability: What's a Small College to Do?"

September 21, 11 AM, Tomsich Hall 101 download poster

a panel discussion with:

David Orr, Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies, Oberlin College

Howard Sacks, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Rural Life Center, Kenyon College

Drew Kerkhoff, Assistant Professor of Biology, Kenyon College

Scott Cummings, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Kenyon College

The Edgerton Foundation

Based in Beverly Hills, California, the Edgerton Foundation contributes to a select group of organizations in keeping with the longstanding interest of its officers, Kenyon parents Bradford and Louise Edgerton, in reassessing the world's dependence on fossil fuels and finding sustainable sources of energy.
donation announcement

Energy and Environmental Sustainability at Kenyon



Comments/suggestions to Scott Cummings