Chemists Get Down At #ACSAnaheim

'Twas just before Sci-Mix, and all through Hall B, plenty of creatures were stirring, some of them dressed like a mouse called Minnie. Alright, alright ... I need to work on my poetry skills. But you get the idea. Just before Sci-Mix kicked off tonight in Anaheim, chemists gathered in Hall B of the convention center to do the Chemistry Dance (Note that they did this BEFORE having beer at the poster session). Celebrating the International Year of Chemistry, chemists young and old congregated, practiced, and then performed a dance set to music by 2010 Chemistry Olympiad medalists Richard Li and Utsarga Sikder. The pair hopes video of the dance goes viral, showing people everywhere that chemists know how to boogie. I'm doing my part by posting some preliminary video of the performance here. My skillz with the flip cam aren't that great, so I'll update this post with video produced by the wizards at ACS's Office of Public Affairs sometime tomorrow. If you watch all five minutes of the video, you'll notice among the 100 or so dancers some familiar faces (ACS Board members, including Chair Bonnie Charpentier), some participants dressed in sparkly outfits, one person with some mouse ears (this is Anaheim, after all), and someone starting their child on an early path to science geekery. In addition, most participants had chemical elements pinned to their shirts; the line dance was set up to approximate a periodic table. Here's just a sampling of the lyrics, so you all can sing along at home (I defy you not to get the chorus stuck in your head): "International year of chemistry-- two thousand eleven We’re representing science -- 24/7 We’ve got antimatter, fuel cells and a ton of Nobel Prizes Sustainable energy solves the problem as it arises" "Move to the left, now move to the right We’ll be doing the chemistry dance all through the night Now clap your hands, everybody let’s go We’ll be rocking it out to the chemistry show" Peace out. UPDATE: As promised, here is the official video of the Chemistry Dance from the Office of Public Affairs. Makes my humble video pale in comparison.

Author: Lauren Wolf

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  1. I can’t believe this garbage was allowed to delay people from setting up their posters at Sci-Mix.

  2. Although I believe this ‘stunt’ is somewhat ridiculous; are you really annoyed that it delayed people from setting up their posters at Sci-Mix? Setting up a poster isn’t exactly like assembling a car – put up a couple thumbtacks and, poof, your done. BTW, Sci-Mix is the lamest part of the entire meeting, nobody cares since the posters are already presented at other times.

  3. I’m not quite sure what the organizers were trying to achieve with this, but I don’t think it dispels the stereotype that chemists are nerdy and awkward.

  4. @CR: I completely disagree.

    There is a sign outside the poster exposition hall that says you may set up one hour prior to the start of the session. It is annoying to get to the hall based on this information, only to be told to wait outside where there is barely any seating.

    And I agree with the good doctor above that this video has the potential to be more damaging than helpful to the chemical community.

    Also, Sci-Mix has got to be one of the most popular events at the meeting, and I don’t believe it’s just a result of the free beer and popcorn. Where else do you get a chance to see projects across every sub-discipline of chemistry under one roof?

  5. @Paul: Agree to disagree. SciMix is there for free drink coupons, not because you “get a chance to see projects across every sub-discipline of chemistry under one roof?” My experience – it’s flooded with undergrads/grads looking for drinks where most of the post-grad people realize that Monday night is a free night because anything they really want to see will be captured in the “real” poster sessions.

    And, again, to the set-up. It literally takes less than 2 minutes to set up; so if you were asked to wait – no bid deal (unless your real complaint is lack of seating?) But, I have to comment, why show up an hour before for a 2 minute job? Tying to get an early line of the beer stall?

  6. I rarely drink beer, so it wasn’t for that. I don’t think they start serving until 8 anyway. I like to show up early because it gives you a chance to beat the crowd and look at some of the other posters. During the actual session, I feel obligated to stand by mine.

  7. Old man Bracher is complaining again…

  8. Get off my lawn!

    Or at least don’t stick signs in it that say I’m allowed inside at 7pm.

    I am going to let Madeleine Jacobs know exactly how I feel. I want a signed letter of apology on ACS stationery.