Materials Girl: At the ACS

[Posted on behalf of Materials Girl]

According to the flight attendant on intercom, we arrived in “the beautiful tropical paradise” of San Francisco. Hah! Compared to the freezing weather elsewhere, 50-60 °F [10-15.55555 °C – NW] probably is a true paradise, but the joke also felt like a jab towards those of us not running wild on spring break (I never was one of those undergrads). Really, though, this is another sort of paradise – or at least a nice vacation. Winter finals are over, traveling is a rare luxury for me, and, most importantly, I have a valid excuse to be away from the lab. It’s my first ACS meeting!

Conventions are all about connections, and before they start it’s a good idea to check out the digital landscape. For example, if you kept up with The Sceptical Chymist (and Twitter) you would know that some Nature editors might be heading to SF. I hadn’t, actually, hence Gavin’s post was fresh news when I took an internet break at 8pm. Aside from helpful tips for a first-timer, it was revealed that Nature Publishing Group had a stand in Moscone Center…

And so, near the end of the first day exposition, a lone student limped over to booth #1000 on a mission to find Gavin. “Hi, I’m Materials Girl! How’s life in London?” That was me – cheerful, but bleary eyed and ruing the invention of the 3” stiletto heel [76.2 mm – NW] (wisdom dictates that I dress down tomorrow). Despite fatigue, it was the highlight of my day. Meeting people means so much more when you have a tangible connection and a host of topics to discuss. My only complaints are that Neil and Stu are far away – only existing as email addresses and Twitter feeds!

This week will be madness, but I look forward to it. In the meantime, I’ll try to choose which talks to attend, get some sleep, and start following @gav33. It’s already Monday.