Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group

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By all accounts, the 245th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, April 7 – 11, 2013, was a great success with an attendance of over 15,000, including about 5,000 students. Unquestionably, part of the success was due to the location, but an excellent program with the theme “Chemistry of Energy and Food,” selected fittingly for New Orleans by MPPG, certainly played an important role. Organized by Professor Emeritus James N. Seiber, Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis, sixteen divisions presented twenty eight symposia associated with the theme including CINF with a symposium “Foodinformatics: Applications of Chemical Information to Food Chemistry” organized by Jose Medina-Franco and Karina Martinez Mayorga. The thematic symposium provided a small monetary reward in addition to the wide visibility of CINF listed on the eye-catching flyer symbolizing the meeting’s theme. Richard Love from ACS did an enormous job of bringing everything together.

MPPG was also involved in the selection of the speakers for “The Kavli Foundation Innovation in Chemistry Lecture” and the new “The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture.” Both outstanding lectures were presented to a full house with the majority being young chemists. Daniel G. Nocera, Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy, Harvard University, talked about “The artificial leaf” and Christy L Haynes, University of Minnesota, described her research on “Biological and ecological toxicity of engineered nanomaterials.” The Kavli Foundation agreed to continue the “Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture” for researchers under the age of 40 through 2016. Divisions will soon be solicited to send speaker nominations for the “Emerging Leader Lecture” series for the Dallas meeting to MPPG. Each Division can nominate two candidates and any nominations from CINF certainly will help the Division’s visibility.

The plenary session organized by Jim Seiber, presented again to a very large audience, consisted of four presentations by eminent scientists addressing both aspects of the theme: Peter Schieberle, Technical University of München, “The chemistry of food flavors: Simply pleasure or beyond? John Floros, Kansas State University, “Feeding the world through science and technology: A look into our future food system,” Harrison Dillon, Solazyme, Inc., “Renewable oil technologies platform for bio-based products,” and Cesar Vega, Mars Botanical, “The kitchen as laboratory: Building bridges between science and the non-scientist.” If you did not have the chance to attend the plenary session, you certainly missed something.

At the General Meeting of MPPG in New Orleans, Professor Robert Weiss, University of Akron, theme organizer for the Indianapolis meeting in September 2013, outlined the thematic program and announced the slate of plenary and Kavli Lecture speakers. Based on this information we can look forward to a very interesting program. I might mention that the Indianapolis race track will be part of it. Don’t miss the program announcements in C&EN.

The future of thematic programming at ACS meetings looks bright. More and more technical divisions organize symposia related to the theme of a meeting, often cosponsored by other divisions indicating the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry. We definitely have seen a strong upwards trend in the last few meetings. As per charter, themes for the next three years have been approved and organizers are in place for 2014 and 2015. The Program Committee of CINF should look closely at the themes and available synopses, and work together with the thematic program chairs and to organize companion symposia. Any symposium within a given theme will provide valuable publicity to the Division.

Here are the themes for future meetings:

  • S2014  Dallas, TX: Chemistry and Materials for Energy, thematic program chairs Michelle Buchanan, Oak Ridge National Lab, buchananmv@ornl.gov and Nitash Balsara, UC Berkeley, nbalsara@berkeley.edu
  • F2014 San Francisco, CA: Chemistry and Global, thematic program chair Robin Rogers, University of Alabama, rdrogers@as.ua.edu
  • S2015 Denver, CO: Chemical Resources: Extraction, Refining and Conservation, thematic program chair TBD
  • F2015 Boston, MA: A History of Innovations: From Discovery to Application, thematic program chair TBD
  • S2016 San Diego, CA: Computers in Chemistry (tentative), thematic program chair TBD
  • F2016 Philadelphia, PA: Chemistry and Education (tentative), thematic program chair TBD
  • S2017 San Francisco, CA: Water and Chemistry (proposed), thematic program chair TBD
  • F2017 Washington, DC: Chemistry and Globalization (proposed), thematic program chair TBD.

The CINF Program Chair will be notified about the details of these themes as soon as they become available.

Guenter Grethe, CINF representative to Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group

Join Us Again in Indianapolis

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Image credit: hhttp://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/meetings/fall-2013/index.htm

Registration & Housing will open May 29, 2013