ACS: Trifluoro talks

The skies are leaden and we’re set for several days of rain. But the weather isn’t going to deter the thousands of chemists who’ve congregated here in Boston for this fall’s national ACS meeting. The technical program is particularly good this time round, so I’ve had some difficulty cherry-picking which seminars to attend.  Read more

BOSS: Bottoms up!

Day three of the Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium, and the heat wave continues. That means there have been plenty of excuses for conference attendees to drink Belgian beer, as the title of this blog implies. But we were also treated to a spectacular talk today by Kenichiro Itami, who presented (among other things) his latest research towards the bottom-up synthesis of carbon nanotubes.  Read more

ACS: Afternoon with the chain gang

I’m not sure why, but the polymer sessions at ACS meetings always seem to be in venues away from the main conference centre. What do polymer chemists make of this, I wonder? Do they feel that they’re being hived off for some reason? Or do they actually quite like having a venue more or less to themselves? If there are any polymer people out there that would like to comment on this, I’d love to know.  Read more

ACS: Beginning to see the light

Have you ever wondered how you would evacuate several thousand people from a hangar-sized conference centre in the event of a fire? Well, now I know, because all the fire alarms went off yesterday morning at the Washington Conference Center. I’m pleased to report that there was no mad panic (chemists, of all people, know how to respond to fire-related emergencies) but it has to be said that it does take a long time – the all-clear had been sounded before I made it to the exit. It turned out to be a false alarm, by the way.  Read more

ACS: Good to the last drop

Man, those physical chemists sure can throw a good chemical biology meeting. I finally got a chance to join in the ‘Functional Motions in Enzyme Catalysis’ session, and it was well worth the wait. Though each of the three talks was excellent, what was particularly interesting were some of the commonalities that emerged in the lectures and the subsequent panel discussion.  Read more

ACS: Good to the last drop

Man, those physical chemists sure can throw a good chemical biology meeting. I finally got a chance to join in the ‘Functional Motions in Enzyme Catalysis’ session, and it was well worth the wait. Though each of the three talks was excellent, what was particularly interesting were some of the commonalities that emerged in the lectures and the subsequent panel discussion.  Read more