Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group

News From The Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group (MPPG)

ImageAfter a very successful program at the 240th National ACS Meeting in Boston, with 20 Divisions programming in 168 sessions, including CINF with three, under the theme of “Combating and Preventing Disease,” MPPG is now working with the Divisions and Theme Organizers on the themes for the next three years.

The programs promise to be very exciting at the two meetings in 2011. The theme for the 241th meeting in Anaheim is “Chemistry of Natural Resources” and the theme organizer is Prof. Ann-Christine Albertsson, KTH Stockholm.

Her programming ideas for Divisional Program Chairs are summarized in the following synopsis:

“Nature holds a vast treasury of inorganic and organic chemicals, covering the entire span from very small to gigantic in molecular weight, and from simple to complex in structure and formulation. Since ancient times we have been using the chemicals and materials provided by Nature, and as societal awareness of the climate situation increases, we look upon Nature’s pantry with renewed interest. Finding and isolating natural resources can help us develop renewable chemicals and materials. Identifying and understanding their chemistry can help us use them more wisely. Refining our knowledge of the chemistry of natural resources can help us to use them in a more sustainable way. A sound platform of insights about the chemistry of natural resources also supports our mimicking of the chemistry in Nature.

Within this theme, emphasis will be on the various aspects of understanding, creating and using the chemicals of Nature. This includes the recovery, utilization and production of chemicals from by-products and waste within the forestry, mining and agricultural processing industries, the production of functional materials and fuels from renewable resources, the environmental interaction of renewable materials, new approaches to synthetic photosynthesis and the chemistry of natural products.”

The theme for the Fall meeting in Denver is “Chemistry of Air, Space and Water” organized by Prof. Ron Cohen, Director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Science Center, University of California, Berkeley. He provided the following synopsis to help Divisions with programming under the theme:

“Chemistry on Earth is mediated by air and water. The two interact - rainfall removes soluble gases from the atmosphere. Ocean circulation transports heat from equatorial regions poleward. Clouds are water droplets suspended in air and their formation affects the Earth’s radiative balance and the availability of fresh water on the planet. With the discovery of more than 100 planets orbiting distant stars, one wonders what chemistries control their atmospheres and oceans.

This theme will focus on the chemistry of air and water. This includes characterization of the natural state on Earth and elsewhere, understanding perturbations to that state, and evaluating ideas for deliberate engineering of air and water composition in the future. This includes chemistry affecting the exposure and response of humans to toxins in their air and water, chemistry affecting the climate and chemical strategies for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (or reducing their emissions to it), and chemistry for enhancing the availability of clean drinking water. It includes the chemistry of atmospheres and clouds on other planets—especially as these provide insight into thinking about our own planet.”

The approved themes for the 2012 meetings in San Diego (Spring) and Philadelphia (Fall) are “Chemistry of Life” and “Materials for Health and Medicine,” respectively. In 2013, the ACS meetings are scheduled to take place in New Orleans (Spring) and Indianapolis (Fall). The themes for these meetings, “Chemistry of Energy and Food” and “Chemistry in Motion,” respectively, have been selected by MPPG and await approval by the Divisions.

Over the last few years, selecting a general theme for ACS National Meetings and programming by Divisions under the theme has proven to be quite successful. It is strongly supported by ACS as evidenced by the planned cover of a forthcoming C&EN issue for the preliminary program for Anaheim.

Guenter Grethe, Chair, Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group