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  Latest News  
  August 30,  2004
Volume 82, Number 35
p. 7


Fall national meeting features sold-out exhibition, graduate education

TOUGH QUESTIONS Rachel K. Smith (right) of Penn State University discusses her poster with Casey (left) and Klaus H. Theopold of the University of Delaware.
Nearly 14,000 chemists, exhibitors, students, and guests arrived in the hazy summer heat for the 228th ACS national meeting in Philadelphia last week. The technical program of more than 7,000 papers drew scientists from all over the world to share their research results, network, and kick back with friends. The exhibition was a record-breaker and was sold out--with 347 companies exhibiting in 538 booths. It was the largest in terms of exhibiting companies and the second largest in numbers of booths sold (tied with New York City in fall 2003). There were also 28 exhibitor-sponsored workshops--another record high.

Graduate education of chemists was on the minds of many who attended ACS President Charles P. (Chuck) Casey's presidential sessions. The first Academic Employment Initiative (AEI) poster session, where more than 120 grad students and postdocs who are seeking academic jobs presented their research, took place at the always-popular evening Sci-Mix. AEI is Casey's program to increase the visibility of candidates for faculty positions. Among those viewing the posters were recruiters from various colleges and universities, who took advantage of the opportunity to meet candidates personally without the expense of campus visits. Another AEI poster session is scheduled for the 2005 fall national meeting in Washington, D.C. AEI was one of several presidential events dealing with graduate education and academic employment in the chemical sciences.

DOUBLE TAKE ACS's Senior Exhibits Manager Irwin B. Wartell poses as Benjamin Franklin during the meeting expo.

With a half-day symposium followed by a gala reception, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) celebrated the 60th anniversary of its creation and the 50th anniversary of its first grants. Casey opened the presidential event, noting that the $20,400 PRF grant he received early in his career supported three years of research by undergraduates on metal carbene complexes. Other speakers included California Institute of Technology's John D. Roberts, who received one of the first PRF grants in 1954. Roberts and four other previous or current PRF awardees--Joan F. Brennecke, University of Notre Dame; Apurba Bhattacharya, Texas A&M University, Kingsville; Kieron Burke, Rutgers University; and Dudley R. Herschbach, Harvard University--stressed how influential PRF has been in their careers and those of their students.

The ACS Chemjobs Career Center debuted in Philadelphia with 1,556 job seekers registered and 107 employers conducting 1,639 interviews for 303 jobs posted. This career center replaces the National Employment Clearing House (NECH) and is a joint activity of C&EN and ACS Career Services. At the most recent NECH in Anaheim, Calif., 1,281 job seekers were scheduled for 1,605 interviews for 271 positions posted by 121 employers.

A special event, the "President's Cultural Event: Science, the Arts, and the Humanities," was hosted on the afternoon of Aug. 22 by Casey and cosponsored by the Division of Chemical Education. It included the reading of excerpts from the acclaimed play "Oxygen," written by Carl Djerassi, winner of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology, and Roald Hoffmann, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The play, which shifts between 1777 and the present, dramatizes the 18th-century discovery of oxygen and an imaginary Nobel committee's 21st-century sensibilities as it argues about who of three distinguished scientists should be awarded the first "retro" Nobel Prize for chemistry.

ACS governance had a full agenda. Most notably, the ACS Council voted to revise the society's constitution and bylaws to offer full membership to chemistry teachers who may not otherwise (by major degree) qualify for membership in the society. The council also approved changes in the constitution and bylaws that would remove the requirements for balloting for ACS national elections only by mail and to allow, but not require, electronic ballots. Both measures now require approval by ACS membership.

The board and council also heard reports on ACS finances. The society is expected to end 2004 with a net contribution from operations of $1,531,000, which is $60,000 favorable to the approved budget. This is in compliance with board-established financial guidelines.

  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2004

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