A Lifetime ACS Fan: Undergrad Gets Inked
Mar27

A Lifetime ACS Fan: Undergrad Gets Inked

Science tattoos are all the rage these days. Ever since science writer Carl Zimmer asked whether science geeks were hiding tattoos displaying their love for all things biology, chemistry, and physics, it seems that the ink trend is on the rise. Zimmer put out a book, “Science Ink,” late last year collecting photos of some of the most impressive ones out there. And at the recent Science Online 2012 meeting, in Raleigh, N.C., Zimmer took some attendees to a tattoo parlor to join the club.   This morning, during a talk at the ACS national meeting in San Diego (#ACSSanDiego), a science tattoo in a category all its own was unveiled. Monte L. Helm, a chemistry professor at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, C.O., showed a photo of a certain tattoo sported by his student, undergraduate Andrew W.L. Goodwin. Helm was speaking in the symposium “Undergraduate Research at the Frontiers of Inorganic Chemistry.” After talking about the work that Goodwin has done—synthesizing novel phosphorus-containing ligands for transition-metal catalysis—Helm demonstrated just how dedicated the student is to his subject … and to ACS. Believe it or not, on his upper arm, Goodwin bears a permanent ACS logo. When Goodwin first unveiled the tattoo at the beginning of this school year, “it was shocking for me,” Helm told Newscripts. “Andrew’s a really excellent student, but he’s also very quiet,” Helm said. “He rarely volunteers things.” So when Goodwin came into Helm’s office and said, “I have to tell you something,” Helm was worried. And when he said, “I got a tattoo,” Helm was expecting the worst. But what he got was the ACS logo. “He’s a chemistry major, but I had no idea he was so dedicated,” Helm said. Goodwin explained the tattoo to Helm by saying that he wanted something black—a logo—that had to do with chemistry. Well, the ACS logo does indeed have to do with chemistry. Now, the question for ACS is, does Goodwin get an automatic membership for...

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Military Undergrads at #ACSAnaheim
Mar30

Military Undergrads at #ACSAnaheim

This Newscripts post is by Senior Editor Susan Ainsworth: Wandering the halls of the undergraduate research poster session at the Anaheim Convention Center on Monday, Associate Editor Linda Wang and I noticed that there seemed to be more students from the U.S. armed forces than we had seen in the past. Intrigued by these neatly uniformed undergrads, we stopped by to talk to some of them and to find out about their research and future plans. Steve Guidry, a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., seemed happy to talk about his poster titled “Composite Armor: Multi-layered Polymer Protection.” He hopes that his research will result in improved armor that may help those who diffuse mines or improvised explosive devices—something he hopes to do for the Navy in Iraq or Afghanistan after he graduates this year. Linda and I also met a friendly group of cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. One of the cadets, Arizona native Jennie S. Wood, explained the research behind her poster entitled, “High Surface Area Carbon Aerogels: Modifying Preparation to Optimize Structure and Porosity.” Her work, she says, may find use in energy storage and catalysis applications. A senior chemistry major at the academy, she plans to pursue graduate school. She will then complete the required eight years of service as an officer. Next, we chatted with West Point cadet Michael Swayze, who went over the details of his poster, “Chemical Warfare Agent Surrogate Detection by Metal-Organic Frameworks.” Unable to work with the actual hazardous chemical warfare agents, he is using compounds that have similar vapor pressures. His work may lead to methods that will allow the Army to more quickly detect the release of these dangerous compounds, he says. After graduating from West Point this year, Swayze will serve in Ft. Carson, Colo., in the Medical Service Corps, an appointment he discussed with great enthusiasm.  Having attended two other national ACS meetings, Swayze concurred with our observation that more military undergrads were presenting posters this year. However, he didn’t have an explanation for the uptick. Air Force Academy cadets Casey Hawkins and Scott Pierson offered one theory: the ACS national meeting didn’t coincide with spring break this year. ***All videos taken by Linda...

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