Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group

ImageThe general theme of the 246th ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis, September 8 -12, 2013, was “Chemistry in Motion” as a nod to Indianapolis as the site of the “Indy 500.” ACS staff did a great job in advertising the theme with posters, flyers, and inserts alerting attendees to the thematic highlights of the meeting and showing the meeting logo with a racing-themed periodic table. Thematic program organizer, Professor Robert Weiss, The University of Akron, broadened the theme by including the concept of “Driving Innovation.” Sixteen divisions, including CINF, participated with theme-related symposia.  The Indianapolis Local Section of ACS held an event at the Speedway and PMSE, POLY, ENFL, and SOCED organized a joint symposium on “The Chemistry of Racing” with the keynote address by retired race car driver Stephan Gregoire.

MPPG was also involved in the selection of the speakers for “The Kavli Foundation Innovation in Chemistry Lecture” and the “The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture.”  Both outstanding lectures were presented to a full house with the majority being young chemists. Harry B. Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, talked about “Powering the planet with solar fuel” and Martin D. Burke, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, gave a lecture on “Making molecular prosthetics with a small molecule synthesizer.” The Kavli Foundation will continue the Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture for researchers under the age of 40 through 2016. Divisions have been solicited to send speaker nominations for the Emerging Leader Lecture Series at 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 Robert Weiss again attracted a very large audience. It consisted of presentations by three eminent scientists addressing the broadened theme: Naomi J. Halas, Rice University, “Solar Steam: Discovery, mechanism, and applications in energy,” Daniel R. Kittle, Dow Agrosciences, LLC, “From lab bench to table top – science serving the needs of a growing world,” and Bret E. Huff, Eli Lilly and Company, “Continuous processing in the pharmaceutical industry.”  

At the General Meeting of MPPG in Indianapolis, Michelle Buchanan, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Nitash P. Balsara, UC Berkeley, organizers for the upcoming ACS meeting in Dallas in March, outlined the thematic program “Chemistry and Materials for Energy.” Theme areas include: catalysis, harnessing solar energy, materials under extremes, materials in nuclear systems, electrical storage, new materials and systems for the grid, materials for energy efficiency, enhanced oil recovery and unconventional oil and gas, and CO2 capture, utilization and storage. They also presented a slate of plenary speakers and candidates for the Kavli lectures. The organizers plan a local event, “Fuel Up!” at the Perot Museum with nine hands-on stations to experience and learn about alternative energies. Based on the information provided, we can look forward to a very interesting program. 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.  Also, local sections become more and more involved. 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 to work together with the thematic program chairs to organize companion symposia. Any symposium within a given theme will provide extra and 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 and Nitash Balsara, UC Berkeley
  • F2014 San Francisco, CA: Chemistry and Global Stewardship. Thematic program chair: Robin Rogers, University of Alabama
  • S2015 Denver, CO: Chemistry of Natural Resources. Thematic program chair:   TBD
  • F2015 Boston, MA: Innovation from Discovery to Application.
  • S2016 San Diego, CA: Computers in Chemistry.
  • F2016 Philadelphia, PA: Chemistry of the People, by the People and for the People.
  • S2017 San Francisco, CA: Water and Chemistry (proposed).
  • F2017: Washington, DC: Chemistry and Globalization (proposed).

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

Guenter Grethe, CINF representative to MPPG


Join Us Again in Dallas

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Registration & Housing will open mid-December, 2013