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Volume 64, Number 1 January, 2013

In this issue

go to Website update update

go to In/Out Chairs’ messages

go to Brief history of chemistry sets

go to Who ya gonna call? in 2013

go to Report from Continuity Night 2012

go to Report from the 1.3th Leadership Development Forum

go to Report from the XVth Career Management Seminar

go to Meetings and Seminars

go to About the Chemical Bond

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next contents  Coming soon to an stlacs.org near you ....

capture: website mockup

Reasonable facsimile of our new home page (as it will look on a full-size monitor) (except bigger)

Keep your eyes and browsers open for the new St Louis Section–ACS website, set to debut this month. Some of the revenue from the 2010 Midwest Regional Meeting is being used to develop the new site; outgoing Chair Eric Bruton and an independent contractor are spearheading the efforts, assisted by Lisa Balbes, Sean Dingman, and Eric Ressner.

What’s in it for you? Mainly a fresh new look built on a modern, responsive template. More open. With friendlier navigation. Less text-heavy, so fewer opportunities for the dreaded tl;dr (too long; didn’t read). The responsive template means you’ll have an easier time visiting the site with small-screen mobile devices; content will dynamically rearrange itself to be accessible through the smaller viewport.

Development will be ongoing. (That’s obvious if you look carefully at the screenshot: it’s just a mockup at this point.) We expect to integrate event registration and mailing list preferences into the site shortly. Photo galleries will accompany event reports, with thumbnails for quick loading, and higher-res pics a click away. We hope to support credit card transactions for some of the fee-based activities in the near future. And finally, there’s a redesign of the Chemical Bond template and delivery channel as a twinkle in our eyes.

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next previous contents (Not exactly) a game of musical Chairs

With the new year comes the transition to the newly elected officers and newly appointed committee members. Traditionally, the outgoing and incoming chairs briefly view their years in, respectively, the rearview mirror and the crystal ball.

Eric Bruton’s retrospective

portrait of Eric Bruton

Eric Bruton, 2012 Chair

I have thoroughly enjoyed this year as Chair of the St Louis Section, especially the great experience of leading our motivated and innovative group of members. I especially appreciate the efforts of the members who put these activities together and their level of enthusiasm to help our members, the local community, and even chemists internationally.

Over the past year, the Section has completed so many activities and functions that, unfortunately, I cannot give each its due recognition here; so, my apologies to those involved in any that I have left out. This year has seen the continuation of many outreach efforts with Kids and Chemistry and Chemistry is pHun. The Section’s Career Services included updated resources on our webpage, the continuation of the YCC’s Career Management Seminar Series and Chemistry Career Night, and the start of a new program, the Leadership Development Forum, which was started with an Innovative Project Grant from the national ACS. Our very active discussion groups have continued to keep members engaged with their interests in Education, NMR, and Mass Spec. There was also the start of the International Chemical Safety Forum, as part of our YCC, which helps students, researchers, and faculty to find assistance with safety issues in the lab and to share what they have learned. We implemented input from last year’s member survey, including improved email notifications about upcoming events and a new website (to be released very soon) to better inform and engage our members in the Section’s activities.

There are so many people to thank for their efforts in making 2012 a great year for the Section. I would like to start by thanking the Board and Steering Committee for their engagement in the workings of the Section, for making sure that resources were available to continue ongoing programs and to start new ones, and for their efforts to make this already very active Section even better. I would like to thank the YCC for their continued enthusiastic work in helping provide impactful career programs. And I offer special thanks to Lisa Balbes for her help in so many tasks and applaud her winning of the 2012 E Ann Nalley Midwest Regional Award for volunteer service to the American Chemical Society.

I am very encouraged by the energy in the Section, which has continued to build over this past year and which I see continuing into the coming year. If you are interested in getting involved in your local ACS Section, please contact us and visit one of our Board meetings. Our new Chair, Ziad Ramadan, would appreciate your help. It is our members who make this Section so successful. The St Louis Section has a long legacy of an extremely active membership, which has been repeatedly recognized with awards from the national ACS for innovative ideas and commitment through service. Come with your energy and ideas and help make this coming year even better by addressing the needs of our chemistry community in the St Louis Local Section.

Ziad Ramadan in anticipation

portrait of Ziad Ramadan

Ziad Ramadan, 2013 Chair

Greetings and Happy New Year 2013 to all of our St Louis Section members. I would like to thank all of you for doing your best to continue promoting and advancing our programs so as to maintain the St Louis Section as one of the premier local sections in the ACS.

The twelve months as Chair-elect have passed quickly. In the coming year, we will have to face many difficulties, challenges and opportunities. We have to plan how to face these difficulties, address these challenges and find these opportunities for the advancement of our St Louis section. We all know that the difficult economic situation has great impacts on the chemistry profession. Many academic personnel are suffering from the declining number of students selecting chemistry because many young chemistry graduates are having difficulties finding positions. Company downsizing is also one of the major concerns of many of our members. As 2013 Chair, I want to move forward—together with members of the Board of Directors—in achieving these goals:

With our members’ and the Board of Directors’ help, I hope to achieve our goals. Check out the website at www.stlacs.org and our Facebook page for a list of upcoming activities and contact information for organizers. It is a tremendous honor to serve you as the 2013 Chair of the St Louis Section.

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next previous contents A brief history of chemistry sets

banquet icon

Fittingly for their Christmas issue, the New York Times featured a brief history of the chemistry set (paywall, but you can register for free access). The principal source for the article was Ms Rosie Cook of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. We can’t reprint the whole article here, but there were a few little nuggets that did stand out.

The earliest chemistry sets available commercially in the USA were imported from England by the Porter Chemical Company of Hagerstown, MD. But they really earned a place in the popular culture when A C Gilbert (of Erector Set fame) began to produce them on this side of the pond.

Describing the times, the article says, “[a]t the time, science and scientists were held in the highest esteem....”, implying, of course, that the same can’t be said today. Alas (no pun intended), these sets were marketed only to boys, as the package is not at all shy about revealing. To be fair, there was also Model No. 13121, the “Gilbert Lab Technician Set for Girls.”

“Was it dangerous? Probably,” Ms Cook said. “This was all before the launch of the consumer protection agency. This is also the period where science doesn’t really know what is dangerous and what isn’t.” Or, more likely, the concept of danger is much more (ahem) finely developed today, and risk-benefit analysis no longer plays a part in toy selection.

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next previous contents  Who You Gonna Call? Officers, 2013

Our organization is green as green can be. No fossil fuels for us. We run on volunteers. (A snarky reader might comment here on the age of those volunteers as relates to fossil fuels ... but not us.) If you are cultivating an urge to get involved, here’s how.

The members listed below are responsible for organizing, promoting, and staffing Section activities in 2013. Pick the function that mirrors with your interests, and get in touch with the responsible person. Not sure where you niche is? Have a question about a specific activity? Have an issue or suggestion about section governance, policies, activities? The Chair is your man. Your first dinner at a Board of Directors meeting is on the house.

Elected officers
Chair Ziad Ramadan
Chair-Elect Jim O’Brien
Immediate past chair Eric Bruton
Secretary Sean Dingman
Treasurer Vic Lewchenko
Directors 2012-2013: Eric Ressner, Keith Stine
2013-2014: Jeff Cornelius, Bill Doub, Steve Kinsley, Brent Znosko
Councilors 2011-2013: Lawrence Barton
2012-2014: Donna Friedman
2013-2015: Lisa Balbes, Alexa Serfis
Alternate Councilors 2011-2013: Ted Gast, Chris Spilling
2012-2014: Hal Harris
2013-2015: Ben Outlaw
Committee chairs
Awards John Gleason
Education Pegah Jalili
Investment Hal Harris
Professional Activities Brent Znosko
Program Dana Baum
Publicity and Public Relations Ben Outlaw
Special Events and Services
Kids and Chemistry Sheryl Loux
National Chemistry Week Greg Wall
Younger Chemists Committee Natalie LaFranzo
UMSL placement

Graduate Studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
Have you considered pursuing a graduate degree in Chemistry? Here at UMSL, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a thriving graduate program that includes a Master of Science degree program, obtainable by completion of graduate-level courses. Classes for all graduate courses (for Ph.D. and Masters candidates) are held in the evenings with courses at the graduate level being available in organic, inorganic, physical and biochemistry. Evening classes allow our graduate students to work full time while taking courses. The department has a strong research emphasis as well as a dedication to teaching but is of medium size, allowing substantial interaction between faculty and students.

Masters Degrees can be obtained by graduate coursework only, MS (non-thesis), or by a combination of graduate coursework and research culminating in a written thesis, MS (thesis). These degree programs may be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis with entry to the program possible in August or January. The part-time MS (non-thesis) remains a particularly popular option for chemists with Bachelors degrees who are employed locally in St. Louis and are looking to upgrade their qualifications. Contact us by phone or e-mail for an application package, for more information or to arrange a visit to campus. Further information about the department can be found on our website: www.umsl.edu/chemistry/.

Huffman Laboratories placement

next previous contents Report from Continuity Dinner 2012

The plan to try a new venue this year, Branica in Kirkwood, went astray as the venue went belly up. We don’t think our shrewd bargaining had very much to do with it. But outgoing Chair Eric Bruton scrambled a bit and got us a nice room and a fine meal at the sister site, Branica in Frontenac.

In addition to the usual agenda for Board meetings, the Continuity Dinner features some special items:

pic: passing the gavel Bruton to Ramadan

The traditional passing of the book and the gavel. Eric Bruton (right) looks like the cat who swallowed the canary as he unloads on Ziad Ramadan.

The General Meeting was convened and adjourned with almost no time for a breath in the breach. No business—new, old or otherwise—made for a record short session.

Leah O’Brien—2003 Section chair, many-yeared chair of the Midwest Award and organizer of Women Chemists Committee events, and eminently successful General Chair of the Midwest Regional Meeting here in 2010—was honored as the Distinguished Service awardee. The award will be conferred officially at Recognition Night in March. But remember, you heard it here first.

pic: Lisa Balbes gives Godt Lecture

Lisa Balbes delivers the Godt Lecture as Ziad Ramadan looks on and enjoys

Lisa Balbes, who is getting the reputation as our “girl who cain’t say no”, gave the Henry Godt Memorial Lecture this year, summing up the goings on of 2012. If you weren’t there and want a two-minute executive summary of the year, you can read the transcript.

And finally, with mixed emotions (mostly overjoyed?), Eric Bruton handed off the gavel, the Section book, A Century of Chemistry, and most significantly, the duties of Chair, to Ziad Ramadan. The book has been signed by every Chair and many distinguished guests since 1973. Ziad begins his year as Chair and looks forward to signing and passing the book (buck?) to Jim O’Brien a short year hence.

Meeting adjourned, and a happy year-end to all.

next previous contents Leadership Development Forum concludes first module

Steve Finkelstein engages with some of the participants in the workshop

Workshop participants workshopping: what are the traits of a good manager? a good leader? and how are they different?

The inaugural module of the Leadership Development series concluded with a workshop on November 29. The St Louis College of Pharmacy provided the venue and Steve Finkelstein, Senior Partner at Experience on Demand, provided the leadership. After a wonderful dinner from Noodles & Company, the workshop built upon the foundation laid by the seminar and book club events. This workshop helped to define the differences and similarities between managing and leading. The workshop took advantage of the experience of the 28 attendees, who were asked to work in groups to come up with the top six traits of a good manager and the top six traits of a leader. Each group presented their findings; then everyone worked together to combine them into consensus lists of traits of good managers and leaders. Networking continued after the workshop ended.

Information from each event is posted on the Leadership Development Forum Google Group. To all attendees: please continue the conversation and put what you have learned into practice.

Coming up in Module 2: Execution: Translating Strategy into Action. Please check our webpage for details, and look out for emails about these upcoming events.

next previous contents Career Management Symposium series strikes again

The final YCC Career Management Seminar for 2012, and the XVth overall, was at Washington University School of Medicine and focused on the topic of Business Etiquette and Communication.

Our speakers were Elizabeth Petre from the Olin Business School at Washington University and Dennis Harney, partner at SNR-Denton law firm. Dr Petre presented an overview on the communication process and how to exercise “conscious communication.” Dr Harney presented some real-world examples that helped reinforce the same communication guidelines.

Food and networking with the 35+ participants were also highlights of the event. The next YCC Career Seminar will be held in February. Stay alert for announcements at www.stlacs.org and in your email in-box.

A room full—very full—of seminar attendees

Dennis Harney, one of the presenters, makes his points with real-world examples

next previous contents meetings and seminars

Board of Directors

St Louis Section–ACS Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of each month, usually at the Glen Echo Country Club (Map to Glen Echo CC map). Meetings are open to all members, and all are encouraged to attend. Elected officers and chairs of major committees vote on questions put to the Board; others in attendance have voice but no vote.

If you want to attend for dinner, please contact the section Chair at least a week in advance. Usual cost of the dinner is $24 ($12 for post-docs and unemployed members). Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.

Date: Jan 10
Social hour: 5:30 pm
Business meeting: 6:30 pm (suspended when dinner is served)
Future meetings: Feb 21 (note third Thursday), Mar 14

Saint Louis University

Seminars are on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For more information, contact Ryan McCulla, rmccull2@slu.edu.

At publication time, there were no seminars scheduled for January.

University of Missouri–St Louis

Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For more information, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311.

At publication time, there were no seminars scheduled for January.

Washington University

Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, contact: Liviu Mirica, mirica@wustl.edu.

Jan 3
Kamil Godula, faculty search candidate
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Synthetic mucin mimetics: Nanoscale tools for glycobiology

Jan 8
TBA, faculty search candidate

Jan 10
Emily Pentzer, faculty search candidate
University of Massachusetts–Amherst
Solution-based assembly of functionalized P3HT for the templated organization of n-type materials

Jan 15
Rebecca Scheck, faculty search candidate
Yale University
A chemical biology approach to understand how ligand-specific signals are decoded by EGFR

Jan 22
Amanda Hargrove, faculty search candidate
California Institute of Technology
Targeting prostate cancer with DNA-binding polyamides through the AR-ERG signaling axis

Jan 24
Tehshik Yoon
University of Wisconsin

Jan 31
Christian Hilty
Texas A&M University

previous contents About the Chemical Bond

The Chemical Bond is published at www.stlacs.org January through May and September through December by the St Louis Section–American Chemical Society. If you would like to receive email notification when each issue is posted, you can subscribe to the bond.remind listserv. You can also follow the link to “Manage bond.remind options” from the home page at www.stlacs.org.

If you use an RSS reader, you can subscribe to our  RSS feed, which includes notices of Chemical Bond issues and timely postings about chemistry-related events in the Saint Louis area.

Editor Eric Ressner 314.962.6415
Asst Editor & Advertising Mgr Sue Saum 314.513.4808
Business Manager Donna Friedman 314.513.4388

Correspondence, letters to the editor, etc., should be emailed to editor@stlacs.org
or mailed ℅ St Louis Section–ACS, PO Box 410192, Saint Louis, MO 63141-0192

Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society and the St Louis Section–ACS