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Your guide to the ACS national meeting in Boston

by Celia Arnaud
July 30, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 31
A photo of the Boston Public Garden.

Credit: Shutterstock | Boston Public Garden


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Click any speaker or symposium below for talk times and locations.

Must-see presenters

A photo of Ruma Banerjee.
Ruma Banerjee
Uncovering how cobalt coordination chemistry regulates vitamin B-12 trafficking, U of Michigan
A photo of Paul Breslin.
Paul Breslin
Describing the effects of sugar substitutes that go beyond taste, Rutgers U and Monell Chemical Senses Center
A photo of Michael Curtis.
Michael Curtis
Discovering a new class of flea and tick compounds, Zoetis
A photo of Nicole Fahrenfeld.
Nicole Fahrenfeld
Understanding river-bed sediments as a sink for microplastic pollution, Rutgers U
A photo of Matthew Gibson.
Matthew Gibson
Mimicking antifreeze proteins with polymers to preserve cells and biologics, U of Warwick
A photo of Concepción González-Bello.
Concepción González-Bello
Shutting down bacteria’s ability to infect, U of Santiago Compostela
A photo of Suzanne Kalb.
Suzanne Kalb
Diagnosing botulism with mass spec, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
A photo of Shana Kelley.
Shana Kelley
Shutting down a cell’s power stations, the mitochondria, with peptide-drug conjugates, U of Toronto
A photo of Markita Landry.
Markita Landry
Imaging neurotransmitters in the brain with exciton-based nanotube sensors, UC Berkeley
A photo of Catherine Murphy.
Catherine Murphy
Exploring the art and science of colloidal gold, UIUC
A photo of Ameet Pinto.
Ameet Pinto
Exploiting the drinking water microbiome, Northeastern
A photo of Fabien Plisson.
Fabien Plisson
Predicting kinase inhibitors that will cross the blood-brain barrier, National Laboratory in Genomics for Biodiversity
A photo of Lindsey Rickershauser.
Lindsey Rickershauser
Planning synthesis routes using software, MilliporeSigma
A photo of Fernando Rosario-Ortiz.
Fernando Rosario-Ortiz
Assessing Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane water quality, U of Colorado, Boulder
A photo of Joris van Rossum.
Joris van Rossum
Managing research data with blockchain, Digital Science
A photo of Ellen Sletten.
Ellen Sletten
Stabilizing perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions for diagnostics and therapeutics, UCLA
A photo of Steven Townsend.
Steven Townsend
Investigating human milk sugars as a defense against microbes, Vanderbilt
A photo of Christina Woo.
Christina Woo
Mapping binding sites to find new targets for old drugs, Harvard
A photo of Xiaoji Xu.
Xiaoji Xu
Combining chemical and mechanical imaging to achieve high spatial resolution, Lehigh
A photo of Choong-Shik Yoo.
Choong-Shik Yoo
Finding unusual chemistry in dense mixtures inside planets, Washington State

Your scheduling assistant

There are so many symposia to choose from. C&EN picked a few to get you started.

Polymers in Cultural Heritage

Sunday all day

Acrylic paints, adhesives, audio tapes. Learn how scientists are studying and protecting polymers in cultural objects.

Debunking Myths of the Undruggable & Indistinguishable

Sunday PM, Monday AM

Researchers are taking aim at tough targets like protein interfaces.

Microplastic Pollution: Sources, Sinks & Solutions

Monday AM

All those microbeads and eroded plastics have to end up somewhere.

M-CHEM: A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

Monday AM

Researchers describe how they're using mechanical forces in organic synthesis.

Louis Pasteur's Discovery of Molecular Chirality: Review & Analysis on the 170th Anniversary

Monday all day

Celebrate the life of one of the all-time greats on the occasion of one of his most important discoveries.

Precision Genome Engineering

Monday PM

Pioneers like UC Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and Harvard's David Liu will discuss the cutting edge in gene editing.

Revolutionizing Chemistry with Artificial Intelligence

Monday – Wednesday all day

Computer models are contributing to almost every aspect of chemistry.

Materials in Extreme Environments

Monday PM, Tuesday PM, Wednesday & Thursday all day

Pressure, temperature, radiation. What happens when scientists tweak these parameters to push materials to their limits?

Mom the Chemistry Professor

Tuesday all day

You may wonder where these moms stash their superhero duds.

Wastewater-Based Epidemiology: Opportunities & Challenges

Wednesday PM, Thursday AM

You flush chemical data about your health and the drugs you're taking down the toilet every day.



Out and about

Beantown offers an array of fun things to do when you’re not in sessions.

Museum of Science
Set on an old dam across the Charles River, this museum can help you recapture your childhood love of science.

New England Aquarium
This aquarium features great penguin and seal exhibits.

MIT Museum
Enjoy the world’s largest collection of holograms. There’s also a temporary exhibition of Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s 19th-century brain drawings alongside contemporary visualizations from MIT labs.

Fenway Park
Take a tour and see the Green Monster on non-baseball-game days.


Credit: Shutterstock
Fenway Park


Freedom Trail
Follow the red line on the sidewalks to hit the high points of Boston’s colonial history without getting lost. (It also makes a nice jogging route.)

Museum of Fine Arts
Its collection contains nearly half a million works of art. Highlights include the Art of the Americas Wing and the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.


Credit: Shutterstock
Museum of Fine Arts


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
This art museum is probably best known for a 1990 heist of 13 works worth more than $500 million.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
A pleasant side effect of Boston’s “Big Dig.”

Boston Common
Catch some sun in the oldest city park in the U.S.

Boston Public Garden
Don’t miss the statue honoring the mother duck and her offspring from “Make Way for Ducklings.”


Still looking for things to do at the national meeting? C&EN has organized some events we’ve love for you to join.


Saturday, Aug. 18, 11 AM-2 PM

Boston Children’s Museum

Guided by C&EN staff, kids get to interview real-life chemists about their science. Reporter’s notebook included. C&EN partnered with Science Storytellers to bring this event to life at the ACS Kids Zone.


Sunday, Aug. 19, 6 PM

Expo Hall, ACS Booth, Boston Convention Center

We’ve been working since January to select and showcase the 2018 Talented 12 rising stars in chemistry (see here for last year’s class). Join us at the ACS booth for the big reveal. Refreshments and chances to mingle with our 12 will be in abundance.


Monday, Aug. 20, 8 AM-12 PM

Room 258A, Boston Convention Center

You’ve learned their identities, now come hear the 2018 Talented 12 talk about their science and their personal journeys. Harvard’s David Liu will kick things off as keynote speaker. If you plan to attend and want a free gift, please register here.


Tuesday, Aug. 21, 3 PM-4 PM

City View Ballroom 1, Seaport World Trade Center

Love chemistry? Love trivia games? Well then this event is the one for you. C&EN launched its first-ever podcast, Stereo Chemistry earlier this year. To keep things interesting, we thought, “Hey why not try this thing live, with an audience, celebrity panelists, prizes, and a chemistry news quiz? What could go wrong?” If you want to find out, join us!


Visit the official ACS national meeting website for the full technical program.

Download a PDF of our curated guide.

Get the official fall 2018 national meeting app.


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