Issue Date: December 16, 2010
Chemists Gather For Pacifichem 2010
Balmy weather greeted the 12,168 registrants of the sixth International Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, or Pacifichem 2010, which kicked off in Honolulu on Dec. 15.
Traditional Hawaiian chants and dances heralded the congress's formal opening. "I hope you enjoy the science and take the opportunity to network with people from around the world," said Howard Alper, chair of Pacifichem 2010 and professor of chemistry at the University of Ottawa, in his welcoming remarks. "That is a remarkable advantage that Pacifichem offers the world: bringing together people of different cultures and different ways of doing things to potentially and actually collaborate and add value [to research] in a way that each of us cannot do ourselves."
In the plenary lecture, "Catching Electrons with Light," Paul Corkum, Canada Research Chair of Attosecond Photonics at the University of Ottawa and director of the university's Laboratory for Attosecond Science, explained advances in laser and X-ray techniques that have enabled measurement of electron orbitals and are moving researchers toward "movies of molecular orbitals during a chemical reaction."
Six chemical societies--American Chemical Society, Canadian Society for Chemistry, Chemical Society of Japan, Chinese Chemical Society, Korean Chemical Society, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute—sponsored Pacifichem 2010. The congress's theme, "Chemistry, technology and our global environment," will be played out during five days in more than 230 symposia comprising 6,923 oral and 5,921 poster presentations, altogether representing contributions from 69 countries. Among the 13 scientific areas around which symposia were organized, organic chemistry attracted the most abstracts (2340), followed by inorganic chemistry (1654) and materials and nanotechnology (1652).
One of Pacifichem 2010's special events, a celebration of the International Year of Chemistry in 2011, had yet to occur when C&EN went to press. "Pacifichem 2010 offers an opportunity for all countries on the Pacific Rim to kick off and celebrate IYC2011 together," commented ACS President-Elect Nancy B. Jackson, whose ACS presidency coincides with IYC2011.
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