The Catholic University of America

Media Advisory


Sobering Reality: “The Chemistry of Alcohol and Hangovers”

WHEN: 12:10-1 p.m., Monday, March 15

WHERE: The Catholic University of America
Hannan Hall, Room 106
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.


Just in time for the drinking of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, CUA chemistry Professor Diane Bunce will explain a hangover and how it results from chemical reactions in the body.

In a lecture for CUA’s Chemistry in Modern Times course, Bunce will explore the chemical makeup of alcohol and how it is digested by the body. Two class members — undergraduate drama majors — will act out differences in behavior as the alcohol level in the blood increases.

Bunce, who is known internationally for her expertise in chemistry education, will explain why gin and vodka produce less of a hangover than scotch and bourbon.

The course’s 25 students will learn what a Breathalyzer is, and Bunce will demonstrate the chemical reaction that occurs when a Breathalyzer is used to estimate blood-alcohol content from a breath sample.



Coverage of the chemistry of hangovers lecture is welcome. Contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 for more information.