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Record-Breaking Chemistry Conference a Mighty Success.

Strong technical sessions and location attracted 2,100 delegates to Montreal

This year the 84th CSC Conference and Exhibition was held in Montreal QC, at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel and in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Centre. The record number of conference attendees were treated to a full schedule of technical and poster sessions over the course of the conference, with special symposia and award lectures each day. In addition, the scheduled and spontaneous social events resulted in a conference experience that was both personally and professionally rewarding.

The conference officially opened on Saturday night with a Plenary Lecture held on the fourth floor of the ICAO Centre. Given by Christopher Walsh of Harvard Medical School, the Plenary Lecture described some of his work on enzymatic strategies for the assembly of nonribosomal peptide antibiotics. An opening mixer was held immediately following Walsh's talk, giving attendees the chance to meet with colleagues and renew acquaintances.

Technical sessions started early Sunday morning with a full schedule carrying through until Wednesday afternoon. Highlighting this year's conference were the technical talks in the Chemical Education sessions. The sessions began Sunday morning with a lively presentation by Joe Schwarcz of the Office for Chemistry and Society at McGill University, in which he described the role the OCS plays in educating the public about chemistry and its advantages and limitations. The closing sessions on Wednesday morning were of particular interest to graduate students, as the talks focused on the role of teaching assistants in chemical education, how to improve their teaching style, and how to transfer teaching experience in the lab to teaching in the classroom. Throughout the conference, speakers addressed the challenges chemical educators face when teaching chemistry to non-chemists, whether in high school, college, university, or to the general public.

On Monday evening, a group of graduate students were given the opportunity to tour Merck Frosst's research facilities in Montreal. The visit, which was targeted towards students with a background in organic chemistry, began with a brief presentation about the company and a tour of their research facility, including the synthesis laboratories, analytical instruments, and library. A casual reception and pizza dinner followed, with time to ask questions of the Merck Frosst representatives. A similar tour was given on Tuesday evening for graduate students interested in a career in industrial analytical chemistry.

The Organic Division. hosted a dinner-cruise on Tuesday evening aboard Le Bateau-Mouche, departing from Montreal's Old Port and touring around the harbour and along the St. Lawrence River. Guests were greeted by live accordion music, giving the evening a unique French ambiance. Despite the dreary weather, the dinner was delicious, and the river cruise provided an excellent view of the harbour and riverside around Montreal.

Wednesday evening saw the end of the technical sessions, and the close of another successful CSC Conference. With its unique mix of the old and the new, Montreal has served as a beautiful backdrop for a scientifically stimulating conference, and has continued the tradition of excellence set in previous years.

Dawn M. Friesen, ACIC

Department of Chemistry

University of Manitoba

Le [84.sup.ieme] congres et exposition de hi Societe canadienne de chimie (SCC) ayant pour theme [much less than] la chimie au Coeur des sciences de la vie [much greater than] s'est deroule le 26-30 mai 2001 a l'hotel Hilton Bonaventure et au centre des congres de l'organisation de l'aviation civile internationale situe au centreville de Montreal, Quebec. Avec pres de 1,219 communications, de nombreuses expositions et plus de 2,100 participants, le premier congres du millenaire de la SCC a permis de reunir les chimistes canadiens, d'eminents chimistes provenant des Etats-Unis et de pays d'outre-mer ainsi que de nombreux etudiants sous un meme toit pour discuter de leurs plus recentes decouvertes. Ce congres representait une occasion en or pour les chimistes a la recherche d'un emploi ou encore ceux qui etaient interesse a avoir un apercu sur le type de chimie effectue au Canada.

Le programme scientifique du [84.sup.ieme] congres et exposition de la SCC consistait en une conference pleniere sur les sciences de la vie, [much less than] Antibiotiques peptidiques nonribosomaux: Strategies enzymatiques d'assemblage [much greater than] donne par le professeur Christopher T. Walsh, titulaire de la chaire professeur Hamilton Kuhn au departement de chimie biologique et de pharmacologie moleculaire au Harvard Medical school. Trois symposiums y avaient lieu egalement, l'un en l'honneur du professeur Ray Lemieux, FCIC, professeur emerite a l'universite d' Alberta decede en juillet 2000, reconnu mondialement pour ses travaux de recherche en chimie des glucides, un autre en l'honneur de la retraite de Brian James, FCIC, professeur a l'universite de la Colombie-Britannique, sur la chimie du ruthenium dans la synthese organique et la catalyse, puis tin troisieme en l'honneur du professeur Kelvin K. Ogilvie, FCIC, president et vice-chancelier de l'universite Acadia en Nouvelle Ecosse, sur la chimie m edicinale des nucleosides et des acides nucleiques.

De plus, dans le programme nous retrouvions egalement des conferences donnees par les Laureats des prix 2001 de l'ICC (Institut de Chimie du Canada) et de la SCC, des communications orales subdivisees en plusieurs sections (analytique, biologique et medicinale, education chimique, sciences macromoleculaires et genie, physique et theorique, environnementale, organique, inorganique). Sans oublier les nombreuses presentations d'afficihes des etudiants du premier cycle et des etudiants gradues, des differentes expositions ou des compagnies telles que Albany Molecular Research Inc., AstraZeneca R&D Montreal, BioChempharma (desormais Shire), Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd., Merck Frosst, Pfizer Global, Torcan Chemical Ltd. offraient des sessions d'informations ainsi que des entrevues informelles.

Avec un programme aussi diversifie, nous n' avions pas le temps de nous ennuyer durant le congres, il fallait bien organiser les journees pour pouvoir assister a toutes les communications qui nous interessaient puis a la fin de la journee nous nous retrouvions equiser mentalement apres avoir ingurgite toutes ces nouvelles connaissances, mais satisfait et impatient d'en acquerir d'autres le lendemain.

En bref, le [84.sup.ieme] congres de la SCC a ete un succes, revelant l'impact substanciel de la chimie dans le domaine des sciences de la vie et laisse entrevoir un avenir prometteur pour les prochains congres de la SCC.

Romyr Dominique

Department de chimie

Universite d'Ottava
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Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Words:1032
Previous Article:Report of the Chair (2000-2001).
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