Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Congratulations to the ACS Reaction Mechanisms Conference poster prize winners!

We want to say congratulations to the winners of the RSC poster prizes at the recent ACS Reaction Mechanisms Conference, hosted by University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada!

Juliet Macharia won the prize from Catalysis Science & Technology. Juliet is originally from Kenya and is now a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the field of organic chemistry at the Binghamton University in New York. Juliet says her career in science was led by curiosity. She wants to understand how and why things happen the way they do to provide a “path to illumination of the many mysteries of the universe.”

Juliet Macharia with her poster

Juliet’s current research focuses on the chemistry of a class of compounds called “arylboronic acids”. These molecules are widely used in fine chemical, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and modern-material industries due to their stability, easy preparation and environmental benign nature. The key step in many reactions employing arylboronic acids involves carbon-boron (C-B) bond cleavage. Due to the relative inertness of the C-B bond, the in-situ generation of a more reactive ‘boronate’ species is considered to be vital to the success of these reactions. Her goal is to determine the exact mechanism of C-B cleavage in reactions using a physical organic tool, Kinetic Isotope Effects (KIEs) at natural abundance. In the future, she will utilize the mechanistic information from these studies for the rational design and development of new catalytic processes.

Anna Lo, who works with Professor Jared Shaw at UC Davis, was the winner of the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry prize. She says that she decided to pursue a career in chemistry to take advantage of the creative thinking and liberty in the practice of organic synthesis.

Anna Lo

Anna’s work focuses on two goals: (1) to elucidate conditions that provide reliable selectivity for additions to a-chiral imines, (2) to develop a mechanistic rationale for the deviating selectivity trends her research group observes. Stereoelectronic models such as the Felkin-Ahn model and Cram’s rules have been used as powerful tools in the asymmetric synthesis of complex synthetic targets. Due to their robust utility, Felkin-control and chelation-control have been generalized to imine stereocontrol, despite fundamental differences in reactivity between N-substituted imines and their carbonyl analogues. Recent work has illuminated a class of a-chiral aldehyde derived imines that deviate from previously well-established stereoelectronic models. This illuminated a gap in understanding of existing stereocontrol models, specifically when applied to N-substituted imines, which Anna is now investigating.

This conference sounds like it was a great event, and we’re glad to support young researchers as they build their careers!

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Submit an Abstract for the 2019 Faraday Discussion on Ultrafast Photoinduced Energy and Charge Transfer in Ventura, CA

Faraday Discussions: No Ordinary Conference

Faraday Discussion, Collaborative interaction, 5 min talk, 25 min discussionThe Faraday Discussion conference series are true to name. They honor Michael Faraday, who made seminal contributions to electrochemistry. Each conference has a scientific committee that invites world-class speakers on a key topic focused on physical chemistry and interfacing fields. The Discussions part of the name reflects the core emphasis of the meeting with a 5-minute talk from a speaker, followed by 25 minutes of discussion.

Interactive Discussions: Key Messages in 5 Minutes

It may sound challenging to highlight a research project in 5 minutes, but it’s possible since accepted speakers submit papers which are circulated to attendees in advance, with the expectation that attendees read all papers before arriving.

After the initial 5-minute talk, anyone can speak for up to 5 minutes. In the past, attendees have prepared comments, questions, and even short presentations of their own work to confirm or raise concerns about results.

Posters: Opportunity for Recognition

Attendees can also submit posters for consideration by the scientific committee. Once accepted, poster presenters can make contributions to the Discussion itself, including showing their own work if pertinent, and there are prizes to recognize exceptional work.

Faraday Discussions (The Journal): Keep the Conversation Going

Since not everyone can attend the meeting in person, the corresponding Faraday Discussions volume publishes all discussion remarks alongside the papers and poster title and abstracts. Updates and highlighted content can be found on the Faraday Discussions Blog.

2019 Faraday Discussion on Ultrafast Photoinduced Energy and Charge Transfer

ultrafast photoinduced energy, charge transfer, faraday discussion, april 2019, ventura, california, ca

Faraday Discussions are held all over the world, but the next meeting in the US takes place in Ventura in April 2019. The meeting broadly addresses critical challenges in ultrafast energy and charge transfer across four main themes:

  • energy and charge-transfer in natural photosynthesis
  • photovoltaics and bio-inspired light harvesting
  • photo-induced electron transfer
  • photo-protection/photo-damage in natural systems

The Committee organized the following distinguished speakers in the area, including Gordana Dukovic from University of Colorado Boulder, Advisory Board member for Sustainable Energy & Fuels; Greg Scholes from Princeton University, Advisory Board member for Materials Horizons and Chemical Science; and Emily Weiss from Northwestern University, Advisory Board member for Materials Horizons.

A Conversation with Committee Co-Chair, Professor Stephen Bradforth

We had a chance to hear from Committee Co-Chair Divisional Dean and Professor Stephen Bradforth, at University of Southern California, who shared his perspective.

Q: What surprised you/was your favorite part about your first Faraday Discussion Meeting? What inspired you?

A: I attended my first Faraday Discussion at the University at Nottingham on the subject of Structure and Dynamics of Reactive Transition States.  For me, as a graduate student in Berkeley, it was a return to Britain after three scientifically rich years in California.  The format of the meeting was incredibly engaging.  Seeing names familiar from the literature as speakers wrestling with only 5 minutes to summarize their work! But immediately followed by an in-depth questioning and scholarly discussion of each speaker’s written paper that revealed what was fact, what was conjecture and what simply wasn’t known. It was invaluable for a student finding his feet in the field of physical chemistry.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved and why do you think the topic of the meeting is timely?

A: I was persuaded by Mike Ashfold and Tom Oliver, with whom I had collaborated on two Faraday Discussion contributions over the years, that it was time to bring the Faraday Discussion to the west coast of the USA.  In fact, this is the first time an FD has been held west of Chicago, and about time too!  This meeting, on Photoinduced Charge and Energy Transfer, comes after a recent trans-disciplinary surge in activity to better understand solar energy conversion, both in natural photosynthetic systems and in man-made materials, spurred by the formidable energy challenge in front of us as a society.

“Attendees will gain a window on the array of contemporary advanced tools,
both experimental and theoretical, that are being developed to attack this scientific grand challenge”

–Committee Co-Chair Stephen Bradforth, Divisional Dean of Natural Sciences and
Professor of Chemistry at University of Southern California–

Q: What do you hope prospective attendees will gain from the upcoming meeting?

A: The goal of the meeting is to bring together experts from several areas, spectroscopists, biophysicists, theoretical chemists, and materials scientists, to uncover the basic design principles for efficiently converting the energy delivered in a photon into useful chemical potential. And all while considering the potential photodamage to the molecular and nanoscale architectures employed.  FD attendees will gain a window on the array of contemporary advanced tools, both experimental and theoretical, that are being developed to attack this scientific grand challenge.

deadline, oral, abstract, poster, early, standard, registration

Welcoming You

The oral abstract deadline is approaching in July, but there is still time to submit either oral or poster abstracts. Monetary support in the form of travel grants of at least £200 are available for early-career RSC members (only £20 for students), within 10 years of completing their PhD or still students, as detailed in the bursary section of the website.

We hope you take advantage of the opportunity to share your ideas and connect with the community in a uniquely interactive meeting. Whether you’re a spectroscopist, biophysicist, computational or theoretical chemist, physicist, or a material scientist working in photo-induced biomolecular and nanoscale dynamics, join us for the first Faraday Discussion in California.

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Congratulations Alberta Nano Research Symposium!

For the fifth year running, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary Nano Groups co-organized the two-day Alberta Nano Research Symposium. The symposium provides a platform for showcasing innovation in nanotechnology research done in Alberta, as well as fostering deeper connections among researchers in academia and industry.

Students from across Alberta in all nanotechnology disciplines were invited to present their research, with prizes awarded to the top oral and poster presentations. Plenary speakers – leaders in nanotechnology – from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan were invited to give talks on some of their latest work. A poster session and a networking event brought together the community in the evening.

Special congratulations to Muhammad Zubair, who won the RSC Nanoscale Horizons Poster Award. He presented a poster about the development of a novel membrane based on chicken feathers/graphene oxide for water purification. In Canada, approximately 100,000 tons of poultry feathers are produced every year, and most of them are landfilled or burnt. He is using these chicken feathers to make membranes for water purification, which will not only help to reduce the environmental pollution related to chicken feathers but also bring a new and low-cost solution to existing water purification membranes.

The RSC is particularly enthusiastic about supporting the efforts early career researchers, so we want to say congrats for a successful event!

Nanoscale Horizons Poster Award winner Muhammad Zubair (center), with Nicolas Macia (L) and Alyx Aarbo (R), co-chairs of the Symposium. Photo credit: Vladimir Kabanov.

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Congratulations CQMF prize winners!

Materials Horizons, posters, prize

Prof JF Masson presents the Materials Horizons poster prize to Nicolas Zindy

The Centre Québécois sur les Matériaux Fonctionnels/Quebec Center for Advanced Materials recently held its annual meeting in Montreal, and we were pleased to sponsor poster prizes from Analyst and Materials Horizons at the event. Congratulations to winners Nicolas Zindy from Laval University and Régis Imbeault from the University of Sherbrooke!

Régis won the Analyst prize for his poster describing the development of high performance functionalized polynorbornenes (PBBEs) from simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly synthesis procedures. Because of their very high physicochemical properties and their low anticipated cost, these new materials can compete with many commercial products, while offering a greener alternative and bringing new solutions for advanced applications.

Nicolas won the Materials Horizons prize for his poster that presented a new strategy to create a pi-conjugated polymer using pyromelltic diimide (PMDI) as an aromatic C-H bond bearer for direct heteroarylation polymerization (DHAP) with 1,4-dibromobenzene. This material has been difficult to synthesize with conventional methods such as Suzuki or Stille couplings and has potential to be used as a cost-effective active material in next generation Li-ion batteries.

Editors from two of our journals also took the initiative to present their advice on publishing, following our Meet the Editor format. Thank you Profs Jean-François Masson from Analyst and Federico Rosei from Journal of Materials Chemistry C for helping us educate the community about good publishing practice!

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2018 Prize Winners at 3rd Annual UC Chemical Symposium

 

Research Presentation Prize winners from the Cohen group at UC San Diego. Left to right: Jessica Moreton, Chemical Science Oral Research Presentation Prize; Joey Palomba, Dalton Transactions Poster Prize; Kyle Bentz, Materials Horizons Poster Prize; Christine Morrison, Analyst Poster Prize.

Several RSC journals supported the 3rd annual University of California Chemical Symposium by sponsoring poster and  presentation prizes. Chemical Science, our flagship journal, sponsored oral Research Presentation Prizes in each of the six subject areas and our core subject-area journals sponsored poster prizes.

 

An impressive showing came from the Cohen group from UC San Diego with three poster prizes and an oral presentation prize. Jessica Moreton was awarded a Chemical Science prize for her talk on MOFs in mixed-matrix membrane systems in the Materials/Nano category. In addition to Jessica’s talk, three posters from the Cohen group won poster prizes. Joey Palomba won the Dalton Transactions Poster Prize for Inorganic Chemistry for his work on high-throughput screening methods for MOFs for nerve agent degradation. Christine Morrison won the Biochemistry category ChemComm Poster Prize for her work on drug discovery methods using metallofragments. Kyle Bentz won the Materials category with a Materials Horizons Poster Prize for his work on hollow amphiphilic crosslinked nanocapsules; Kyle is also serving as Vice-chair of the 2019 UCCS. The group’s leader, Seth Cohen, helped found the UCCS and is surely pleased to see such a strong performance from his group. 



Netz Arroyo from UC Santa Barbara is presented a Chemical Science Research Presentation Prize by Professor Carrie Partch.

The Chemical Science Prizes were presented by keynote speaker, Prof. Carrie Partch from UC Santa Cruz and were also awarded for oral presentations in each of five other categories. Sean Nguyen from Jenn Prescher’s research group and Bryan Ellis in the Vanderwal Group took home prizes for UC Irvine. Sean’s talk on the development of orthogonal reactions for multicomponent labeling in biological systems earned him the Chemical Science Prize in Chemical Biology/Biochemistry and Bryan’s presentation on the development of an oxetane-based polyketide synthase substrate mimic won in the Organic category. In the Analytical category, the prize went to Netz Arroyo, a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Kevin W Plaxco’s group at UC Santa Barbara. Netz presented his work on coupling electrochemical, aptamer-based sensors with closed-loop control algorithms. The goal is to achieve continuous real-time measurement of specific molecules in living things and ultimately feedback-controlled delivery of therapeutic drugs, which would be valuable in a clinical setting for any number of diseases. Also from UC Santa Barbara, Andrew Cook from the research group of Trevor Hayton was recognized in the Inorganic category for his talk on catalytically active nanoclusters. These acetylide-stabilized copper and thiolate-stabilized cobalt nanoclusters can also be immobilized on silica and would be valuable for nanostructured materials. Will Hollingsworth, who also served on the organizing committee for the 2018 UCCS from the Ayzner Group at UC Santa Cruz was awarded the prize for his talk in the Physical category on electronic energy transfer dynamics in conjugated polyelectrolytes, which would be especially useful for artificial photosynthesis when oppositely-charged donor-acceptor pairs are used. Will used a variety of time-resolved techniques as well as steady-state measurements to study these complex systems. 



Chad Cruz from UC Riverside with his prize-winning poster on charge-separated S-bridged chromophores at the 2018 UCCS poster session.

The remaining posters were claimed by UC Riverside. The PCCP Poster Prize for best poster in the Physical Chemistry category went to Chad Cruz, a graduate student at UC Riverside jointly in the Chronister group and the Bardeen research lab. Chad presented on studies using anthracene in sulfur-bridged chromophore systems and examining the effects of changing the S oxidation state. His work shows significant insights into ways to tune excited-state properties in these bridged systems that could be used for optoelectronic devices due to their potential for forming long-lived charge-separated states. 

Bill Weigel from UC Riverside with his prize-winning organic poster on anacardic acid derivatives for enzyme-inhibition studies.

 

 

The Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Poster Prize in the Organic Chemistry category went to Bill Weigel, a graduate student in the research group of Dave Martin at UC Riverside, which focuses on the design and synthesis of bioactive molecules; Bill presented his work on the use of computational docking studies to design anacardic acid derivatives, which he then synthesizes in order to study structure-activity relationships with enzymes. Specifically, they are examining the inhibition of the enzyme SUMO E1, which is known to be involved in oncogenesis, by these rationally-designed substrates.

 

The next UCCS will take place March 24-27th 2019 in Lake Arrowhead, California where we expect to see more exciting research and recognize the hard work of the graduate students and post-doctoral fellows behind it.  

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Meet the Royal Society of Chemistry at ACS National Meetings

We always enjoy meeting new people and catching up with familiar faces at ACS National Meetings, most recently in New Orleans.  We packed our schedules with talks during the day, learning about the latest and exciting developments across the chemical sciences.  Many of us attended sessions related to the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water theme, which also aligns with the global challenges the RSC aims to support.

It was a good opportunity to congratulate Chemical Science Associate Editors Professors Kit Cummins and Mircea Dinca at MIT in person as they received ACS awards for their achievements.  Editor-in-chief Professor Daniel Nocera, Executive Editor Dr. May Copsey, and many other Chemical Science Board members discussed some exciting developments for our flagship journal – stay tuned for updates on the website and learn more about the Associate Editors!

Booth, ACS, RSC, Chemical Science, Environmental Science journals, New Orleans

Dr. May Copsey, Executive Editor for Chemical Science, Dr. Sam Keltie, Executive Editor for the Environmental Science journals, and Dr. Jenny Lee, Assistant Editorial Development Manager, meeting attendees at the RSC booth during opening night of the Expo.

While it’s challenging to keep up with the conference programming, we wanted to spend some time to meet conference attendees at the booth and organize separate gatherings.  Larger conferences are great since colleagues travel from our Cambridge, UK office.  The Meet the Editor event involving Executive Editor Dr. Sam Keltie and the Editor-in-chiefs for the three sister Environmental Science journals was a nice chance to talk about publishing, and to also continue the conversation with the environmental chemical sciences community during happy hour.

RSC, ACS, Environmental Science: Nano, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, ESN, ESW, ESPI, Meet the Editor, Booth, Sam Keltie, New Orleans

Meet the Editor event with Dr. Sam Keltie, Executive Editor of the Environmental Science journals, Prof. Kris McNeill, Editor-in-chief of Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Prof. Peter Vikesland, Editor-in-chief of Environmental Science: Nano, and Prof. David Cwiertny, Editor-in-chief of Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology.

We also were glad to connect with a few RSC Advances Associate Editors, Editorial Board member Professor James Batteas, and Executive Editor Dr. Andrew Shore where we discussed ideas to continue developing the latest Gold Open Access option within the RSC journals.  While these are only a few highlights of all the events we organized throughout the conference, we appreciated the many opportunities to hear everyone’s thoughts to guide our future activities.

RSC, ACS, RSC Members' Reception, New Orleans

RSC Members’ Reception with Dr. Guy Jones, Executive Editor for Data, pictured in the foreground.

We’d love to meet you at a future ACS National Meeting – you can usually catch most of us at the booth on the opening night of the Expo so we hope to see you soon!

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Rio de Janeiro, the place for the Microscale Separation and Bioanalysis 2018

Photo towards Guanabara Bay taken during the MSB2018 delegation visit to Sugar Loaf

Delegation photo at the closing ceremony….  …..    ………..  ……………..

The 34th International Conference on Microscale Separation and Bioanalysis took place for the first time in Brazil. Around 130 attendees gathered just next to the sea to spectacular sights of beautiful Rio de Janeiro. Divided into two major subjects, Fundamentals of Microscale Separations and Application of Microscale Separations, speakers were top quality and attendees truly international. The conference had 5 plenaries and 17 keynote speakers, including RSC journal board members:

Analytical Methods: Profs Emanuel Carrilho (Editorial Board member), Wendell Coltro and Susan Lunte (both Advisory Board members)

Lab on a Chip:  Profs Aaron Wheeler (Associate Editor) and Amy Herr (Advisory Board member)

The program was structured around short balanced talks with time for discussion. Questions were rich during sessions and inspired insightful ideas. The mix of young researchers (including students) and experienced ones contributed to a great exchange of knowledge.

Around 60 posters were presented with incredible quality according to the judging committee. We presented three from our journals Lab on a Chip, Analyst and Analytical Methods. Congratulations to the winners!

Pencil-drawn Electrochemical Paper-based Analytical Devices (ePADs) for Determination of Ethinylestradiol in Water Supply Samples
Letícia Jordão Marques de Oliveira (University of Sao Paulo)

ROMANCE: Improving Data Exchange and Robustness in CE-MS Based Metabolomics
Víctor González-Ruiz (University of Geneva)

 Pencil Drawing of Electrochemical Paper-based Analytical Devices for Forensic Applications
Wendell Coltro (Federal University of Goiás)

Letícia and Víctor, two of the three recipients of RSC poster prizes.…………………………………… …..

The conference chairs, Profs Emanuel Carrilho (USP in São Carlos) and Marina Tavares (USP).

In addition to the conference, we visited the LADETEC (the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory, BDCL, in English) in Rio, supervised by Prof Francisco Radler. LADETEC is part of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and tested athlete samples for doping during the 2016 Olympic Games. Prof Radler, who also spoke during the Symposium with a focus on “Omics in Toxicology, Doping and Forensics”, was very kind to receive RSC delegates. As an expert, Prof. Radler is optimistic about the potential of “omics” to become as as big as the field of “nano”:

“-interesting will be to see future OMICS combinations and whatever
can come with it.”

Prof Radler, Elizabeth Magalhaes and Janet Freshwater (RSC Books) during the LADETEC visit.

 
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Brazilian Conference on Natural Products 2017

 

When you think about Natural Products, South/Central America are places that come to mind. The 6th Brazilian Conference on Natural Products was the place to be to discuss new trends in the field. In the beautiful City of Vitória, Espirito Santo State in Brazil, the conference venue welcomed more than 600 attendees just next to the sea. A warm and spectacular atmosphere.

Elizabeth Magalhaes from our Brazilian office attended and was happy to be able to engage with diverse mix of Brazilian and international speakers, who discussed great themes, including mass spectrometry applied to natural products, as well as biosynthesis.

RSC has many related journals, including Natural Products Reports, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry and our analytical journals, Analyst and Analytical Methods. We also have book collections on natural products and organic chemistry. RSC is proud to have sponsored the event and improve our engagement with the natural products community, who contribute to solving global health issues, such as Zika/Dengue viruses, ecology and drug discovery. Natural products also have an important role in agricultural issues.

As a sponsor, RSC presented three poster prizes chosen from two sessions. We awarded an RSC Advances open access voucher to Prof Miriam Falkenberg (Federal University of Santa Catarina) for her work “Molecular networking and spectral techniques for isolation and structure identification of compounds from seaweeds” (co-authored with Satomy A. Kami, Maria Gabriela A. Barros, Ana Cláudia Philippus, Gabriele A. Zatelli, Lucas F.O.Vieira, Louis P. Sandjo, Lorene Armstrong).

We also awarded prizes to Prof Cláudia Seidl (São Paulo University at Ribeirão Preto city) on bioactive compounds identification and to Edileuza Bezerra de Assis (a student from Federal University of Paraíba) on multi-hyphenated techniques.

Congratulations to all the winners!

    Prof Miriam Falkenberg (Federal University of Santa Catarina) receiving the RSC Advances poster prize from Prof Warley Borges (Federal University of Espirito Santo), the local chair of the conference.

 

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Congratulations to Dow WesTEC RSC award winners

Last year, our Analytical Methods Editorial Board member Jim Luong invited us to contribute a congratulatory letter for the program book of WesTEC, an internal Dow Canada conference. Last year was the 25th Jubilee celebration of the conference, and the RSC President Robert Parker co-signed a letter with the President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry that appeared in the front of the program, alongside letters from Dow VIPs.

We were thrilled to be invited by Jim again to contribute a congratulatory letter in 2017, and we also sponsored Best Poster and Best Lecture prizes. The conference took place on October 19th and we wanted to say congratulations to the two winners, Ms Morgan Tien (Best Lecture) and Ms Karina Singh (Best Poster)!

Best Lecture prize winner Morgan Tien with Billy Bardin, Dow Global Tech Center Director

Karina Singh, Wayde Konze, Dow WesTEC

Best Poster prize winner Karina Singh with Wayde Konze, Dow Director of Analytical Sciences

We should also say congratulations to the Canadian Society for Chemistry on the 100th anniversary of their conference this year, and of course to Canada itself on its 150th anniversary! In honor of these two milestones, we compiled a special collection to celebrate Canadian science. Enjoy!

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UC Chemical Symposium: “by students, for students”

The University of California Chemical Symposium (UCCS) is a three-day conference that brings together graduate students and postdocs from all ten UC campuses for a weekend of poster presentations and talks, career and professional development, and social activities. It is organized by students, for students. Our North American office has been proud to support this event from its foundation through our community development and leadership training initiatives for students and postdocs.

Seth Cohen, UCCSProfessor Seth Cohen from the University of California, San Diego, is the founder and faculty mentor for UCCS, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of our journal ChemSocRev. We talked to Seth to learn more about how the UCCS came about and where it’s going.

Q: This is going to be the third annual UC Chemical Symposium – what prompted or inspired the start of the UCCS program?

A: The program was inspired by two events.  The first was the beginning of a series of annual meetings for the Chairs of the Chemistry Departments across the UC system (which itself was inspired by a conversation with Prof. Bill Tolman, who told me about similar Chairs’ meetings at Big-10 schools).  I found these Chairs’ meetings useful and it sparked the idea of a student/postdoc symposium.  The second event, was a conversation with Katie Dryden-Holt of the RSC.  She was looking to enhance membership in the US, and the UC symposium seemed like a good opportunity for her to recruit RSC members across the UC campuses.

Q: What is your role in the program and how has it changed over time?

A: I initiated the idea and recruited the first organizing committee (with substantial help from the RSC).  These days, I am more just the institutional knowledge (from year-to-year) and faculty mentor to bounce ideas off of.  The organizing committee really does the heavy lifting.  In the future, I hope the symposium becomes largely self-sufficient, to the point I am not really needed anymore.  I really want this to be something that the students own and sustain.

Q: Did you have anything like this when you were a grad student or postdoc?

A: No.  The closest was the GRS:  Bioinorganic Chemistry.  This was one of the first GRS meetings and it was my favorite meeting.  I made many close friends and I loved that it was student run and organized.  That was a large part of the inspiration for the structure of the UCCS.

Q: The low registration fee of $259 covers all of the program activities, meals, accommodations and more. How is the organizing team able to make the cost so affordable?

Fundraising.  The one thing about this conference I was fairly confident in was that we would be able to initiate a robust fundraising effort.  Organizations love to support students.  The mission of UC is to support students.  I reasoned that most UC Chemistry Departments, Dean’s offices, and other organizations could each give some support, which collectively, would result in a lot of funds to make the symposium quite inexpensive.  Additional support from the RSC, ACS, publishers, and most recently the NSF has further helped make this symposium readily accessible to all students and postdocs.

Q: What is the most challenging part of having ten campuses involved?

A: Making sure all campuses are represented on the organizing committee and that all committee members remain engaged.  With only 1-2 representatives per campus, if just 1 or 2 people don’t to their job it can result in an entire campus being excluded – not deliberately, but because of a lack of information being communicated to that campus.  Conference calls can be hard to schedule with that many people as well

Q: As an Editorial Board member for ChemSocRev, you also initiated the Primer collection of tutorial reviews to help new grad students get up to speed with all the most exciting research and help figure out their own research interests for graduate school. Why is education and training the next generation so important to you?

A: The future success of the chemical sciences and the solutions it will bring to society in the fields of energy, the environment, health, and technology are in the hands of the next generation.  It is important to me that the young scientists I work with feel motivated, supported, and excited to pursue cutting-edge research in the chemical sciences or whatever field their career takes them.

Q: Would other regions benefit from having a program like this, or is it unique to UC?

A: Absolutely!  I’d love to see the idea come full circle, back to the Big-10 (where Bill Tolman is) and see them do something similar.  I think this could be done regionally all over the country and the world.

Q: What do you see, or hope to see, the future holding for UCCS?

A: I think the autonomy is key.  I love being involved, but to make it in the long term, it needs to become fully independent of me as a single faculty mentor.  Personally, I think the size and the format are really good.  I’d like to see it spread to other universities.  For the UCCS specifically, I’d like to see it alternate between a SoCal and NorCal location (we’ve looked at Lake Tahoe), to make it more equitable travel-wise for the NorCal UC campuses.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the UCCS?

That it brings the students together.  I think that is so important – to meet your peers from across the state and share experiences.



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