UM-Flint Chemistry Professor Explores Space, Time Travel

Robert Stach, PhD, UM-Flint emeritus professor and author.

Robert Stach, PhD, UM-Flint emeritus professor and author.

“The year is 2112 and scientists are predicting that in twenty years or so an ice age will develop, that will, in all probability, be an extinction-level event…”

So begins the summation of Saving the Human Race, a science-fiction novel about six time traveling scientists and their efforts to save humans from a dying Earth. The book was written by Robert Stach, PhD, emeritus professor of chemistry and the former Director of Research at UM-Flint. Stach retired in 2012.

During his teaching career Stach engaged in academic writing, but this novel was his first attempt at creative fiction. He noted, “I had written several chapters for books, but I hadn’t written a novel until this novel and the two subsequent novels [in the series]. The second one will be published shortly.”

Stach’s career in academia was an asset to creating the story, which contains both space and time travel and examines the relationship between global warming and an ice age. Said Stach, “Because of my chemistry background, I could write from the standpoint of understanding the science and bring that to the fore in my writing.”

Stach’s desire to educate, specifically about climate change, provided inspiration for the series: “I thought writing this book and the two sequels may better demonstrate to the general public, especially climate change deniers, what can lie ahead for the human race if we don’t do something about the use of fossil fuels.”

Bob Stach speaking to a class

Bob Stach speaking to a class

That desire was also a driving force in his career. In a university interview, Stach noted, “I enjoy teaching and challenging students to become educated individuals so they can make significant contributions to our society. They need to be able to think, sometimes outside their comfort zone, and solve problems. . . No matter in what field one finds himself or herself, being well educated will allow [students] to do whatever they desire to do.”

When asked what he hopes readers will take away from his series, Stach replied, “I would hope they come away with the understanding of the exigent need to do something to decrease and eliminate energy sources that use fossil fuels to produce that energy and thus reduce the levels of carbon dioxide. It may not be too late to either prevent or ameliorate the coming ice age if we start using environmentally friendly energy producing systems.”


To contact Dr. Stach, email bobstach@umflint.edu. For more information on the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department at UM-Flint, and the ways in which it can inspire scientists and authors alike, visit umflint.edu/chemistry.