Archive by date | August 2007

ACS: Factoids

Yesterday, I popped along to hear Roald Hoffmann (again) talking at his own birthday symposium. Also there was author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who is not a chemist, but when I met him this morning was wearing a very natty periodic table t-shirt. It was in colour, much better than my white-on-red version. Note to self – update wardrobe.  Read more

ACS: Strictly ballroom

As much as I’ve enjoyed my forays into analytical and flavour chemistry, yesterday afternoon I had a relapse and attended the Arthur C. Cope session on organic chemistry in the cathedral-sized ballroom. Actually, the cathedral analogy doesn’t seem a bad one, as sometimes it does feel as if there’s a certain amount of worshipping going on.  Read more

ACS: Avogadro’s out

Here’s a bit of gossip – Avogadro’s constant, the one that lets you work out how much is in a mole of something, is under threat from a bunch of physicists who want to see it declassified as an absolute number, and instead tied to Planck’s constant, which is altogether more complicated to explain but essentially is used in quantum mechanics to bunch things into packets, or quanta. Not very clearly explained, but I’m no physicist. Check out other definitions here and here.  Read more

ACS: In the best possible taste

One of the great things about ACS meetings is the incredible breadth of topics that are covered. In my quest to learn about branches of chemistry that are unfamiliar to me, this morning I attended a session of the division of agricutural and food chemistry. To be precise, the lectures were all about interactions between taste and smell.  Read more

ACS: Katharine the gourmand

I have just worked out that, since saturday afternoon, all my meals have been sandwiches for one reason or another, although I almost ate a slice of cold pizza at one point, but didn’t want cheese-related nightmares so declined. I have broken the cycle now thanks to a chocolate croissant in the press room.  Read more

ACS: Hello… Are there any bloggers out there?

I only have time for a quick post, but I wanted to mention a few other blogs/bloggers that are at the fall ACS meeting – most of you know that Paul and Kyle are here, but it looks like journalists from C&EN and Chemistry World are blogging from the meeting (including Carmen Drahl, who used to post at She Blinded Me with Science/who now works for C&EN…)  … Read more

ACS: When will I learn

Ah, the poster session. I like these things; they have allowed me to perfect that useful social skill of marching up to strangers, thrusting a hand out in the hope it will be shaken, and saying “Hi, I’m Katharine. Who are you?” Once in a while the tactic pays off and you learn something incredibly interesting.  Read more