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Category → 2008 Fall National Meeting

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.

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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Gin And Juice With Harold McGee

mcgee-and-arnold-low-res.jpgI decided to pass up the lure of free beer at Monday night’s SciMix poster session and instead headed for the rarefied air of the 57th floor of Philly’s One Liberty Place. That’s where the ACS Communications Office feted author and curious cook Harold McGee (that’s him on the right), who won this year’s Grady-Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public.

Cocktails-wise, I clearly made the right decision. David Arnold (left), director of culinary technology at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, was preparing drinks for the crowd of chemists and science writers. McGee described Arnold as “the expert on bubbles and pleasure” and the potables he and his assistant Mindy Nguyen served up certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Meet Jonquil Bandy, An “Ask Me” Guy


You see them everywhere. And they seem to know everything. But who are they?

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Top 5 For Wednesday

A few things we’re excited to see and do today …

1. Protecting the Chesapeake Bay. (8:15–11:35 AM, and 1:40–5 PM, Crowne Plaza City Center, Liberty C, AGRO Division)

2. Nose into a session on Chemical Senses and Health, and hear about a new way to “sniff out” skin cancer. (8:30 AM–12 PM and 1:30–5:20 PM, Convention Center, Room 113C, AGFD Division)

3. Check out the cool books and illustrations used to teach chemistry in the 19th century. (2:15–2:35 PM, Sheraton Philadelphia City Center, Salon 10, CHED Division)

4. Visit the expo, where you can snag some free stuff before they close up shop this afternoon. (Convention Center, Halls A and B, 9 AM–1 PM)

5. Catch cutting-edge research in organic and medicinal chemistry, plus refreshments and local band Boris Garcia (7–9 PM, Convention Ctr Ballrooms A/B. Band starts at 8:30 PM, ORGN/MEDI Divisions)