After covering a few ACS national meetings as a reporter, you get to know where to find news. I tracked down good stories at about 50 of these science extravaganzas in my career as a newspaper science writer. You winnow through the abstracts, attend scientific sessions, check the news releases and news briefings, and even patrol the exposition.
Sci-Mix is an interdivisional poster session usually held on the Monday night of a national meeting. It is an amazingly popular event with attendees, especially younger scientists and students. I stopped counting as the crowd swelled toward the triple digits.
As the event’s name suggests, Sci-Mix is part science and socializing and networking. Students get a chance to present results of research projects done with senior scientists. These presentations are "posters," which summarize the research. The presenter stands near the poster to explain and field questions.
That mouth-watering aroma of fresh popcorn filling the huge assembly room in the Moscone Center tonight contributes to the "Mix" part of the name. So do the plastic cups of beer and other beverages. Sci-Mix is a fun event, with a lot of socializing. Senior scientists also use Sci-Mix to spot and evaluate potential students.
I chatted with one of them, Doug Neckers, who heads the Center for Photochemical Sciences at Bowling Green State University. Doug was impressed by several posters and talked with the presenters about their future education.
The poster topics span chemistry’s horizons, from agricultural and food research to toxicology. Check out the Sci-Mix topics and presenters in the meeting program. I spotted potential news among those topics, and some of those presenters may be future Nobel laureates.