Tami Spector

Tami Spector


Full-Time Faculty
Harney Science Center 333


Tami Spector received her bachelor's from Bard College, her PhD from Dartmouth College, and was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota. She teaches Organic Chemistry I and II, Organic laboratory I and II, and Molecular Gastronomy: The Science of the Food We Eat.

Trained as a physical organic chemist, her scientific work has focused on fluorocarbons, the transformations of strained ring organics, and the molecular dynamics and free energy calculations of biomolecular systems. She also has a strong interest in aesthetics and chemistry and has published and presented work on The Molecular Aesthetics of Disease, John Dalton and The Aesthetics of Molecular Representation, The Visual Image of Chemistry, and the Relationship between Chemistry and Contemporary Visual Art. She serves on the board of Leonardo/International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology and as the treasurer for the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry (ISPC). She is on of Leonardo/ISAST governing and editorial boards, co-hosts the San Francisco based Leonardo Arts Sciences Evening Rendezvous' (LASERs), and serves as the editor of the on-going special section "Art and Atoms" for Leonardo Journal.

Research Areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Intersections of art and chemistry/science
  • Philosophy of Chemistry


  • Chair, Department of Chemistry


  • PhD, Dartmouth College

Selected Publications

  • Spector, T.I.,  "The Aesthetics of Molecular Forms" in Molecular Aesthetics, P. Weibel and L. Frank (eds.), MIT press: Cambridge, MA, 2013.
  • Spector, T.I., "Nanoaesthetics: From the Molecular to the Machine" Representations, 117, Winter, 2012, 1-29
  • Spector, T.I., " Introduction to the Leonardo/ISAST Student Art/Science Contest" Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, 43.1, 2010
  • Spector, T.I., ISPC 2007 Editorials, Foundations of Chemistry, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2008, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2009 and Vol. 11, No. 2
  • Spector, T.I., Editorial: "Nanotechnology, Nanoscale Science and Art" Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for theArts, Sciences and Technology, Vol. 41, No. 4, August 2008, pp. 348-349
  • Spector, T.I. and Schummer, J., "Popular Images versus Self-Images of Science:Visual Representations of Science in Clipart Cartoons and Internet Photographs" in Science Images and Popular Images of the Sciences, P. Weingart & B. Huppauf (eds.), Routledge: London-New York, 2007, pp 263-276; republished in German translation as "Visuelle Populärbilder und öffentliche Selbstbilder der Wissenschaft" in Bernd Hüppauf & Peter Weingart (eds.), Frosch und Frankenstein: Bilder als Medium der Popularisierung von Wissenschaft, Verlag Bielefeld, 2009
  • Spector, T.I. and Schummer, J., "The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science" Hyle, 13 (2007), 3-41; reprinted in Joachim Schummer, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent & Brigitte Van Tiggelen (eds.), The Public Image of Chemistry, Singapore, World Scientific, 2007, 213-257
  • Spector, T.I., Editorial: "The Leonardo Scientists Working Group" Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, 2006, 39.1, 1