ACS San Francisco 2010: The week ahead

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I’ve arrived safe and sound in sunny San Francisco for the ACS meeting. The journey here was trouble-free and actually quite pleasant. I managed to watch a film, read four manuscripts and see the stunning scenery of Greenland, the Rockies and San Francisco.

The meeting is underway and I spent the morning in a session dedicated to Bob Madix (hopefully I’ll blog more about it later) but no amount of coffee is letting me break through the jetlag wall that I’ve just hit. So I thought I’d skip the afternoon sessions and retire to my hotel room to send some emails and write a quick blog entry.

This is my third ACS meeting in as many years and I think that I’m learning how to cope with them. They’re crazy meetings in that there are thousands of people here, tens of parallel sessions and just a phenomenal amount of chemistry being fired at you from all directions. I do enjoy them but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a tough week. My plan for this meeting is to catch up with a few people over lunch and dinner, chat to whoever swings by the Nature stand (booth #1000 – come say hi!) and maybe take in fewer sessions than I usually do i.e. I might miss a session here and there unlike in previous years when I’ve been to all sessions possible. It does feel a little like cutting class though!

I’ve got a very loose plan for which sessions I’m going to attend but the actual planning of where to go is a bit of a nightmare. To help out those of you who are unsure about who you should see speak, I thought I’d mention a few sessions that I think are worth a visit. Firstly, there is a great line-up of speakers in a session on Tuesday that has been organised by a group of students (The Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee – GSSPC). They’ve organized a symposium called ‘Chemistry and the developing world’ and have some top chemists giving presentations (Angela Belcher, Paul O’Brien and Sean Cutler for example). For more info see here.

Secondly, one of our very recent authors, Randy Goldsmith, is giving a presentation tomorrow and he has the unenviable task of speaking at the same time as the Presidential event. The research he’ll be talking about was published in, and is in fact on the cover of, our current issue and it is very cool (single molecule spectroscopy of a fluorescent protein) so do go along and see him talk.

I’ll also be in the Physical Chemistry Awards Symposium which is always great. This year’s eclectic bunch of presentations sees, amongst other topics, some atmospheric chemistry from Kim Prather, some computational nanoscience from George Schatz and a presentation on the dynamics of electronic excited states from Peter Rossky.

And also don’t miss Nature’s very own Jason Wilde (he’s the boss of my boss!) speaking on Tuesday in a session on the Future of Scholarly Communication.

Make sure you follow our tweets from @naturechemistry and also the Twitter tag #acs_sf during the week!

Gavin (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

Gavin Armstrong

Senior Editor, Nature Chemistry

I've been an editor at Nature Chemistry since April 2008 having worked at the Royal Society of Chemistry (at the Journal of Materials Chemistry and Soft Matter). I had a full head of dark hair when I joined. I graduated from the University of Leeds with an MChem in 2002, and stayed there to do a PhD in nonlinear chemical dynamics. My research focused on pattern formation and travelling waves in autocatalytic chemical systems. At Nature Chemistry I handle what would traditionally be called physical chemistry e.g. spectroscopy, theory, catalysis, reaction dynamics, photochemistry....