SciFinder Future Leader in Chemistry

Thank you so much to all of the CAS staff involved with the FLIC program, especially Peter Carlton and Sherri Syffers. I had the most amazing time.

The SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry participants first gathered in Indianapolis, IN, for the 246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition. As well as attending conference sessions according to our field and preferences we had sessions in the use of SciFinder as well as training and information on other ACS and CAS products such as publishing with ACS journals and ChemWorx.

From there we took the bus interstate to Columbus, OH, home of the Chemical Abstract Service. Their operation there is impressive in both man and machine power (touring the data centre and power back-up facilities was particularly eye opening).  As well I seeing where the work happened we got the chance to engage with the CAS team to find out how data is collected and CAS registry numbers assigned as well as the massive job of catagorising and extracting information from thousands of journal articles and patents.

As well as learning, we got the chance to give the team our feedback on our most common likes and dislike with the SciFinder product, new features we’d like to see as well as giving advice on proposed future updates which were already in the pipeline.

Off the ACS campus we visited the technology incubator TechColumbus where we witnessed the commercialisation process of new technologies and we were privileged to tour the Battelle Memorial Institute, a facility steep in history which has pushed technological breakthroughs since 1929. See the story of Xerox for perhaps its most famous success story. The Ohio State University gave me my first experience of a US university, and it was on a scale unlike anything I’ve seen before, which is perhaps suitably demonstrated by The Horseshoe, Ohio State’s Football Stadium.

As well as all things academic the participants enjoyed various social events, including batting practice at Huntington Park – home of the Columbus Clippers, a day out at Indianapolis Zoo and dinner at the Skyline Club and Franklin Park Conservatory. I met some great fellow chemists on the program and hope to stay in touch with them as we make our way through our careers.