Message from the Chair

ImageDear Colleagues,

The CINF events in Anaheim were a great success (and the nearly flawless weather was a bonus). The scientific presentations at ACS national meetings have always been a significant value of CINF, and the papers presented at Anaheim certainly confirmed and underscored that value. One particular favorite for me was the session honoring the legendary Professor James B. Hendrickson. I used the Pine, Hendrickson, Cram, and Hammond Organic Chemistry textbook as an undergraduate student and had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Hendrickson give a lecture entitled "The Chemistry of Drugs: Legal and Illegal” at my college. What made that particular session so memorable (apart from the topic) was that Dr. Hendrickson brought his own colored chalk and gave a "chalk talk," using different colors to push electrons through the various reaction schemes. It was science! It was art! It was brilliant! The CINF symposium honoring Dr. Hendrickson was a fitting testament to a man who has done great things at the interface between computers and organic chemistry.

The other CINF symposia were no less captivating, including the session on open data, open science, and open knowledge (kindly supported by the Chemical Structure Association Trust), the session on natural products and drug discovery, the session on data archiving, e-science, and primary data, and the lively "Internet and Chemistry: Social Networking" session, co-sponsored with the Younger Chemists Committee. In addition to the symposia, the CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence poster session (graciously supported by Accelrys) highlighted research done by the next generation of CINF members.

Of course, another major value of CINF has always been the networking opportunities, and those were present in abundance in Anaheim, including the Sunday reception, Harry's Party, Tuesday luncheon, and Tuesday reception. The CINF luncheon was memorable for the gory PowerPoint presentation on the case of Jack the Ripper by noted criminal profiler Richard Walter. What did this have to do with CINF? Not a thing! But it was a fascinating view of a century-old case through the eyes (and using modern day criminal profiling techniques) of a man dubbed "The Living Sherlock Holmes." That said, I promise that the next keynote speaker at the CINF luncheon in Denver will not show photographs of dead bodies as Richard did.

Speaking of Denver, it was decided to modify the times of future Saturday Committee meetings. Rather than starting with a 7:30 AM breakfast (which, as a non-morning person, I always found borderline criminal), we will start the meeting in Denver at 11:00 AM. This will allow some people to arrive on the day of the Committee meetings rather than the day before. In today's ever cost-conscious world, every little bit helps. The meeting will go a little later (ending at 6 PM rather than 5 PM), with an overall result aimed at more efficient use of time. So, please plan ahead to come to the Fall ACS meeting and get involved in CINF committee activities. It's good for your soul (not to mention your career). I wish you a great summer and look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Gregory Banik, Chair, ACS Chemical Information Division