The Three Best Things About This Week’s ACS Meeting

The semiannual ACS national meeting is in Denver this week. Thousands of chemists, chemical engineers, and assorted hangers-on gathered in the mile high city to learn the newest results, enjoy each other’s company, and check out new offerings in the trade show exposition. Never mind that the economy is still sluggish and even showing signs of slipping backwards—it takes worse than this to dampen the enthusiasm of the gathered scientific community.

My three favorite things from the meeting:

  1. Heroes of Chemistry. Everybody needs heroes and this year ACS selected Andrew Barker and Keith Gibson of AstraZeneca, and George Trainor of DuPont. The first two created the drug Iressa for the treatment of lung cancer , and the latter invented the fluorescence method used for large-scale DNA sequencing. Heroes for sure.
  2. Women Chemists Committee. The physical sciences, despite much effort and some progress, still have barriers to achievement for women. The spirited WCC puts on many events to reduce these barriers. This year’s meeting included CHF’s own Hilary Domush (via Skype because of Hurricane Irene) running a workshop on “Can We Do It All?” The Tuesday WCC luncheon honoring achievement promotes both solidarity and encouragement, this year by recognizing Kathryn Hach-Darrow (who founded a chemical company devoted to clean water) and Judith Giordan (a venture startup specialist with a PhD in chemistry).
  3. Madeleine Jacobs and Rudy Baum. She adroitly leads the ACS and he keeps C&EN relevant, stimulating, and solvent. The profession is all the better for the both of them.

What do all my favorites have in common? People, of course. The people who we proudly count as colleagues, friends, and inspirers.

Tom Tritton is President and CEO of CHF.

Kathryn Hach-Darrow [CHF Oral Histories]

Posted In: Education

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