ACS: The party’s over


The last day of an ACS meeting is weird. Lots of people have gone already, so the cavernous convention center starts to feel a bit empty. On top of that, everywhere you look people are dismantling all the conference stands, pulling up the carpet, and, for some reason, wrapping up displays in cling-film. It reminded me of a restaurant I went to once, where I was trying to finish my dessert but the waiters were putting their coats on and turning off the lights.

It’s been a great trip, but I’m ready to go home. My abiding memories will be:

An analytical speaker, who claimed that he loved mass spectrometry, then peppered his talk with phrases like “Mass spectrometry tells lies” and “Mass spectrometry data is like having a map of hell”.

Another guy describing an assay with fruitflies, in which he described the fruitfiles that couldn’t learn to avoid electric shocks as ‘Republicans’.

The lady who spiced up her talk by showing a picture of herself dressed as a salt cellar, with a large strawberry on her head. (There was a very good reason for this, but there’s not enough space here to explain.)

So, farewell to Boston – here’s hoping, like Katherine, that British Airways have some functional planes. Oh, and can the last person to leave the convention center please remember to turn the lights off?


Andrew Mitchinson (Associate editor, Nature)

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