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ACS Spring 2024 explores many flavors of chemistry in New Orleans

Over 13,000 people gathered to share ideas, connect with peers and the society, and advance scientific and technical knowledge

by Sara Cottle
April 1, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 10


Professor Molenium dancing in a traditional second line parade in New Orleans.
Credit: Event Photography of North America
Professor Molenium dances in a traditional second line parade opening the ACS Spring 2024 exposition hall in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The American Chemical Society held its annual spring meeting March 17–21 in New Orleans and online. As of March 19, 14,368 people had registered to attend: 1,246 attended virtually, and a majority, 13,122, attended in person in the Big Easy. This year’s theme, “‘Many Flavors of Chemistry,” drew nearly 12,000 oral and poster presentations.

ACS staff and student volunteers from Xavier University of Louisiana engaged the community with hands-on activities at a family-friendly preconference event on March 16 with ACS Kids Zone.

In-person and hybrid sessions began at 8:00 a.m. (CDT) on March 17. This year’s open board meeting included a special panel, “Pathways for Aspiring Leaders,” which featured short talks from Raychelle Burks, associate professor of chemistry at American University; Jarrod Cohen, senior scientist at Merck & Co.; Peter Dorhout, vice president for research at Iowa State University; and Katherine Johnson, R&D associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. These speakers highlighted their diverse backgrounds and their various positions of ACS leadership.

“I’ve really tried to leverage my leadership and my volunteerism in areas that I want to see myself grow,” said Cohen, who attended his first ACS meetings unofficially, as a kid accompanying his mother. “Use ACS to build your network, to grow who you interact with, and to be able to actually impact not only the lives of others . . . but also be able to then bring that back to yourself and help yourself grow professionally.”

The keynote plenary session featured talks titled “The Power of Collaborative Research,” from Andy Taylor of the University of Nottingham; “There’s More to Flavor Than Just Chemistry . . . It’s a Matter of Perception and Acceptance,” from Andrea Buettner of the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg; and “Unleashing Trailblazing Science for a Better World,” from Adam Janczuk, vice president of global R&D for Nourish at International Flavors & Fragrances.

The Kavli Lecture Series, which spotlights emerging leaders and innovations in chemistry, featured Deepika Malhotra, a senior scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who delivered “Many Flavors of Carbon Capture Technologies,” and Devin Peterson, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the Ohio State University, who delivered “Flavor Chemistry: Shaping Consumer Experiences and Health Outcomes.”

ACS president Mary K. Carroll sponsored multiple events, including the ACS Spring 2024 Kids Zone, “Markers of Excellence in ACS-Approved Chemistry Programs,” an LGBTQ+ presidential reception, “Dreyfus-ACS Symposium on Imaging in the Chemical Sciences,” “Collaborating across Boundaries,” and a presidential showcase in the form of a diversity networking breakfast featuring scientists from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) on driving scientific advancement.

The spring ACS Council meeting took place in person on March 20 beginning at 8:00 a.m., with the option for members to join virtually. The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented nominees for selection as the 2025 president-elect candidates and delivered results from an election that had been held before the council meeting and that included nominees for directors from District I, District V, and the International District to serve on the board of directors for the 2025–27 term. More information about these candidates will appear in a later issue of C&EN.

The council voted to approve the Petition to Remove Inconsistencies and Add Missing Provisions; the Petition to Amend the Duties of the Committee on Budget and Finance; a name change, from the Division of Biological Chemistry to the Division of Biochemistry and Chemical Biology; an amendment to the distribution formula for division funding; the creation of international chemical sciences chapters in Egypt and Guangdong, China; a name change, from the Auburn Section to the East Alabama/West Georgia Section; the Petition on Dues and Benefits to change the name of the Schedule of Membership to the Schedule of Dues and Benefits; and the 2025 Schedule of Dues and Benefits. You can download the council talking points at for more detailed information on these changes.

ACS Fall 2024 will be held in Denver from Aug. 18 to 22; the meeting’s theme is “Elevating Chemistry.”



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