Introduction to the Fall 2016 Graduate Student Symposium

On behalf of the recently selected GSSPC from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, I am delighted to share our aims for our symposium to be held during the 252nd National Meeting of the ACS in Fall 2016. We are a group of seven graduate students from the Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science at Penn, and are particularly excited to be planning a symposium in our home city, Philadelphia.

The theme of the Fall 2016 meeting – Chemistry of the People, by the People and for the People – hints at the oft-neglected personal aspect of our very technical discipline. We plan to utilize our symposium to highlight the human aspect of research in the chemical sciences. We hope to achieve this from two perspectives: demonstrating the impact that chemistry has upon people’s lives, and illuminating the personal stories behind those conducting groundbreaking research.  To do this, our symposium will focus on scientific research that enriches the work and lives of others, by enabling other researchers’ work or by having a positive impact on the everyday lives of members of the public.  Our technical program will be supplemented with an opportunity for networking and discussion with other attendees and with the symposium’s speakers, thus giving attendees the opportunity to learn about what motivates established researchers, and providing a venue in which connections can be made with peers and future colleagues. Through our program, we hope to inspire graduate students and other attendees to think broadly about the impact of their work, and reflect upon their integration into the chemistry community on a local, national and global scale.  Naturally, there is no better venue for highlighting the strength and diversity of the chemistry community than at a national meeting of the ACS!

We’d like to thank the Division of Chemical Education for giving us the opportunity to participate in the GSSPC program, and wish the GSSPC from the University of Minnesota all the best with their upcoming symposium in Boston.  We look forward to updating DivCHED members with developments throughout the upcoming year, and are excited to welcome you to Philadelphia in August 2016!

Benjamin Partridge, Fall 2016 GSSPC

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