Message from the President: February

Contributed by Dennis Chamot, CSW President

The January CSW membership meeting featured an interactive session with Dr. Kathy Covert, who oversees the NSF’s Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI).  She led a stimulating discussion of Grand Challenges for Chemistry.  CCI supports scientific exploration of complex, fundamental issues (e.g., determining the chemical nature of memory and consciousness), and of course, much of what is discovered by such fundamental basic research may prove to be profoundly useful for solving practical problems down the road.  Those who attended this session were given opportunities to think up grand challenges, and to think about what resources–human and otherwise–would be necessary to explore them.  All in all, a stimulating evening to kick off the new year.  To see some short videos produced for the centers in the CCI program, check out these links:

CENTC – find new processes for efficient, environmentally responsible production of chemicals and fuels from common feedstocks

CCI Solar Fuels – enable efficient and economical conversion of solar energy into stored chemical fuel

CaSTL – probe single chemical events in real space and time

CCE – understand how the first biopolymers formed on an early earth

CSMC – design green, solution-based chemistry routes for producing high-quality thin films for next-gen devices

CCHF – change the way organic molecules are constructed

CAICE – understand the chemistry behind the climate impacts of atmospheric aerosols

CSP – transform how plastics are made and unmade

The next meeting, on February 11, will recognize students receiving College Achievement Awards, and feature a speaker discussing the chemistry job market (details appear elsewhere in this issue).  And plan to join us on March 23 to hear Madeleine Jacobs, former ACS CEO and Editor-in-Chief of C&EN, and currently president and CEO of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, on communicating science to the public and advocating on behalf of the sciences.

We are always interested in suggestions for programs, speakers, and activities to serve the interests of our diverse membership.  You may contact me at [email protected], using the subject line, “message for Dennis Chamot.”