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Chemists Forge New Bonds In India

Meeting brings U.S. and Indian scientists together to share ideas and build networks

by Amanda Yarnell
January 16, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 3

SCIENCE IN CULTURE
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Attendees were delighted by "The Dance of Life," an original performance by renowned Indian classical dancer Mallika Sarabhai that traces the history of Indian science. Here, Sarabhai and her troupe commemorate India's early contribution to the study of triangles, trapezia, and squares.
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Attendees were delighted by "The Dance of Life," an original performance by renowned Indian classical dancer Mallika Sarabhai that traces the history of Indian science. Here, Sarabhai and her troupe commemorate India's early contribution to the study of triangles, trapezia, and squares.

The American Chemical Society and India's Council on Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) wrapped up their inaugural joint meeting in India last week. "By bringing together people from around the world, this conference is symbolic of some of the key trends that are changing the chemistry enterprise," said ACS Director of External Affairs David L. Schutt.

BRIGHT FUTURE
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Credit: PHOTOS BY AMANDA YARNELL
NCL Director S. Sivaram lights the lamp during the traditional ceremony marking the beginning of the ACS-CSIR meeting in Pune while organizers M. K. Gurjar (from left) of NCL, Mukund Chorghade of Peptimmune, and Ganesh look on.
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Credit: PHOTOS BY AMANDA YARNELL
NCL Director S. Sivaram lights the lamp during the traditional ceremony marking the beginning of the ACS-CSIR meeting in Pune while organizers M. K. Gurjar (from left) of NCL, Mukund Chorghade of Peptimmune, and Ganesh look on.

The first segment of the ACS-CSIR conference, which focused on organic chemistry and chemical biology, was held at CSIR's National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India, on Jan. 6-9. More than 500 scientists from academia, industry, and government throughout India were treated to a rich and diverse scientific program given by eminent scientists from both the U.S. and India. They also enjoyed a cultural program highlighted by an Indian dance performance tracing the history of Indian science.

The scientific and cultural feast continued at CSIR's Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad on Jan. 11-12. More than 650 participants registered for this second segment, the turnout "making evident the great enthusiasm and keenness for chemistry in India," said the institute's director, J. S. Yadav.

"We hope this meeting will encourage scientific interactions between individual researchers in India and the U.S.," added K. N. Ganesh of the National Chemical Laboratory.

"Enhancing the flow of scientific information and improving prospects for research collaborations, particularly among young people who represent the future of our discipline, are important responsibilities for ACS," explained ACS President E. Ann Nalley in a statement. To that end, both legs of the meeting featured an Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum-funded workshop that brought together early-career scientists from the U.S. and India. Students from India also had the chance to showcase their research during poster sessions at the two meeting sites.

As India's chemical enterprise continues to grow, "this meeting has given us a unique opportunity to forge collaborations between people who think about science in different ways," said speaker Laura Kiessling, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and editor of ACS Chemical Biology.

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