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Archive → August, 2008

Chemistry Newsbytes

Lost on a farm? Google Earth images reveal cows make great compasses. LATimes

A dynamic (and ongoing–place your vote now!) debate over energy and technology. Economist

Assessing the Arctic’s carbon budget. Christian Science Monitor

One teacher’s efforts to straddle the line between faith and science. NYTimes

France grapples with severe PCB pollution in the Rhone. BBC

ACS And Advocacy

At the ACS meeting last week, Rudy attended a session called the “Task Force on Enhancing Innovation & Competitiveness: A Hearing to Gather Input for the Final Report.”

Says Rudy in his editorial: “The panels discussed a number of practical issues and concerns surrounding advocacy for science and technology, but all agreed that to remain relevant in the public policy arena scientists need to continue to make their voices heard strongly and clearly on Capitol Hill.”

The folks at the ACS Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs even put together a training video on how to effectively meet with policymakers that we’ll try to post here shortly. Meanwhile, you can access the video via the “Policy” tab on the ACS homepage.

Good Times in Philly

I always have mixed emotions leaving a national meeting. On the one hand, I had an absolute blast. I met interesting people, learned new things, and experienced a different city. But it’s also good to be home. Here are some of my favorite moments from the past week:

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Music: “Miranda” by Stephen Duros.

See you in Salt Lake City!

Blogger In The Press Room

mitch.jpgFor several years now both seasoned science writers trying their hand at new media and graduate students turned citizen journalists have been bringing their take on ACS meetings to the blogosphere. But until now, only bloggers working for a media outlet had been enjoying the perks of the press room.

That all changed this week, when Mitch Andre Garcia, the tech savvy UC Berkeley grad student behind Chemical Forums and Chemistry Blog, was granted access to the journalists’ inner sanctuary. Mitch says his new media credentials haven’t changed the way he navigates the meeting, although he does appreciate the press room’s free coffee and Internet access.

Charmayne Marsh of the ACS Communications Office says that the society is keen to get news from the ACS meeting to the public and that blogs are increasingly becoming a venue for science journalism. Bloggers who’d like to get credentials to the press room in Salt Lake City will be able to apply via the National Meeting Press Center, which goes online before the meeting.

Just having some real estate in cyberspace won’t automatically get you a press badge, though. Charmayne says that before giving Mitch the stamp of approval, she had a look at the type of posts he writes and had a few e-mail exchanges with him. She says she found him to be extremely professional.

Chemistry Newsbytes

turin.jpgControversy arises over the C-14 dating of the Shroud of Turin. LA Times

That chemist in Massachusetts whose basement lab was seized last week is considering legal action. Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Meanwhile, a hazmat team gutted another basement lab, this time in New Jersey. My Central Jersey

So if chemicals in the basement brings a hazmat team to your door, what will a nuclear fusion reactor bring? The Wall Street Journal,

apparently. WSJ

The chemistry of wrinkle removers. NY Times

Automotive writer taken to task for “chemestry” calculations. Sport Compact Car

How Washington, D.C.’s national aquarium keeps tap water from killing its aquatic residents. Washington Post

Synthesizing A Sound

This time around, I came prepared for the joint Organic and Medicinal Divisions’ poster session/concert. In New Orleans, Organic Division Program Chair Scott Sieburth added the local sound (and local beer) to the poster session’s program. The result was a lively concert that had chemists sticking around the convention center much longer into the night than they might otherwise have planned.

I had high expectations in Philadelphia (Sieburth is a professor at Temple University, which makes him a local), and I wasn’t disappointed.

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Desirable Philly Addresses?

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Spotted on a morning stroll. (Photo by Carmen Drahl/C&EN) Thanks to Beth Halford for pointing this one out. (Photo by Carmen Drahl/C&EN)

Olympic Dreaming From Philadelphia

Filed by Susan Ainsworth & Linda Wang

This week, the ACS national meeting in Philadelphia is coinciding with the final week of the 2008 summer Olympic Games in Beijing. So, it’s not surprising that the latest Olympic news has been a popular topic of conversation during the meeting’s breaks and social events.

Associate Editor Linda Wang and I wandered the Expo Center on Tuesday, asking unsuspecting visitors to talk about their favorite Olympic events. We also asked them to tell us how they stay active and to identify the Olympic event they would choose to enter if given that chance.

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