Well, the 4th EuCheMS congress has ended, and I must say, it has been a wonderful experience. The range of topics presented during this conference was surprising. There was everything from synthesis, to chemistry and the environment, to ethics in chemistry. Some of the studies that stood out to me were the quirky ones, such the one involving using NMR to determine where and from what type of flower a Greek honey was made. I also love seeing applied research, which explains why one of my favorite talks was given by Reiner Salzer. His research involves using various spectroscopic techniques to monitor the brain during surgery. I had never thought of how the brain must readjust after the skull is opened for surgery, but it makes sense that the brain will have changed a bit from the pre-surgery scan. So cool!
Aside from the talks, another thing I have enjoyed about coming to this conference is meeting some amazing people: my fellow awardees, the ACS students from Colorado, the students from the European Young Chemists network, as well as the ACS CEO and staff. Madeleine Jacobs, CEO and executive director of ACS, chatted with us several times, told us her story and about ceremonies she has gone to for the Nobel and Kavli prizes (which sound incredible), and encouraged us to excel in our careers. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, take it. The rest of the ACS staff that we met here were awesome as well, especially Steven Meyers, who arranged our trips here and has gone out of his way to help arrange flights home for those of us that could have ended up stranded in Germany due to the Lufthansa strike. So thank you, Steve and everyone else that made this trip possible. It's been great.