About the Alchemist

Randy Wedin is a writer, the primary parent of four sons, and a Ph.D. chemist.

Wedin has been a professional freelance writer for the past seventeen years, pursuing two streams of writing. One stream deals with science and technology; the other stream deals with parenting and fatherhood. His published works include newspaper and magazine columns, literary essays, magazine feature articles, newsletters, technical journal articles, speeches, book chapters, annual reports, and curricula. He blogs about career issues for chemists on the American Chemical Society’s Careers Blog.

Wedin’s creative nonfiction essays have appeared in Ruminator Review, Reed Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Shape of Content, Chemical & Engineering News, and the Star Tribune. He has received a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship (Creative Prose, 2002) and a Travel and Study Grant (Literature, 2006) from the Jerome Foundation. His 2005 essay, “Suddenly It’s Time to Say Goodbye” in Reed Magazine, received a Gold Medal for “Best Article of the Year” from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

On the home front, Wedin is the father of four boys (current ages of 16, 18, 21, and 24). He has been their primary caregiver for the past seventeen years. As an advocate for involved fathers, he was a founding Board member of Minnesota Dads At Home (MDAH).

He has attended national conferences related to at-home dads and to parenting gifted children, and he has discussed fatherhood as a guest on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Midmorning.”

Over the past two decades, Wedin has been extensively involved in developing programs that engage children and adults in the excitement, wonder, and relevance of chemistry. While employed at the American Chemical Society, he launched the first National Chemistry Week (a public outreach program to improve the public understanding of chemistry) and received a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America for this project. He has been a frequent speaker at local, regional, and national meetings on the topic of public understanding of chemistry.

Wedin’s interest in bridging the gap between science and the humanities can be traced back to his undergraduate days. In 1977, he earned a B.A. in Chemistry and in English Literature from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN). His senior project was a series of three essays that used the scientific concepts of thermodynamics and crystallography as metaphors for analyzing literature.

He attended graduate school at Harvard University, earning a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1982. His graduate studies were supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Danforth Foundation.

Following graduate school, which included a year of research at Oxford University, he served as a Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Congressman George Brown, Jr. From 1983 to 1991, he worked in Washington, D.C., at the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, in management positions involving publishing and public communications.

Since 1991, Wedin has lived in Wayzata, Minnesota and worked as a freelance writer and consultant. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Association of Science Writers. More information is available at Wedin’s website (http://www.wedincommunications.com).

Published on December 20, 2008 at 9:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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