Issue Date: May 6, 2013
감사합니다 (Thank You), Korea
When an American Chemical Society delegation traveled to Seoul in mid-April, the trip caused some apprehension because of North Korea’s nuclear threats. Ironically, during the week of April 15, the South Korean capital was a far more placid place than the U.S. While terrorist bombs, ricin-laced letters, and a fertilizer plant explosion traumatized the homeland, the news in Seoul was centered around Psy, the entertainer who rose to global fame in 2012 with the hit video “Gangnam Style.” Snippets of his just-released video, “Gentleman,” were all over the television.
The ACS delegation participated in three activities: ACS on Campus at Seoul National University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), the editorial advisory board meeting of Accounts of Chemical Research, and the national meeting of the Korean Chemical Society (KCS). At this meeting, the Korean Academy of Science & Technology (KAST) hosted the first Frontier Scientists Symposium, which was coorganized by KCS and ACS Publications. Pictured here are some of the organizers and participants.
The symposium—“Impact of Chemistry on Biology”—is the first full-scale academic symposium between ACS and KCS in this decade, said KAST President Sung Hyun Park. It was a dream come true for Accounts Editor-in-Chief Joan S. Valentine, who had long wanted to share her love of Korea with her non-Korean colleagues. Valentine is Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Distinguished Professor at Ewha Womans University, Seoul. With Accounts Senior Editor Jinwoo Cheon of Yonsei University, Seoul, and advisory board members Wonwoo Nam of Ewha and Kendall N. Houk of UCLA, Valentine helped shape the program for the well-attended symposium.
Speakers included Accounts advisory board members Cynthia J. Burrows, University of Utah; David S. Lawrence, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Claude F. Meares, UC Davis; Nam; Yun-Dong Wu, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology; Dan Yang, University of Hong Kong; and Masayuki Yokoyama, Jikei University School of Medicine. Other Korea-based speakers were Hyotcherl Ihee, KAIST; Jin-Soo Kim, Seoul National University; and Injae Shin, Yonsei. From studies of protein structural dynamics to the use of light-responsive molecules to probe cell behavior, the talks underscored the centrality of chemistry in understanding biology.
I thank Valentine for inviting me to participate in the Accounts meeting, giving me the opportunity to meet many accomplished Asian chemistry researchers. I also thank our Korean hosts for their friendship and hospitality. As a first-time visitor to their beautiful country, I could not have had a better welcome.
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