ACS: Harnessing the Power of Data
Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund Report – Jess Crompton (2020, Synthesis for Biology and Medicine (CDT))
I received a travel grant from the University College Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund 2022-23 to enable me to attend a large conference covering all branches of chemistry this summer. Throughout the week I was able to attend a variety of talks by leading academics, including three Nobel laureates: K. Barry Sharpless, Carolyn Bertozzi and David MacMillan. I also attended sessions which focussed on early career researchers and it was very interesting to see which areas young academics are choosing to investigate.
An overwhelming theme of the conference was the value of mentorship in the field of organic chemistry. I attended a day of short lectures on memory of Professor David A. Evans who had a group at Harvard for many years. Throughout the day, an impressive list of group alumni – a real who’s who of both industrial and academic organic chemists, came together to share their memories of their mentor, the chemistry that they investigated under his supervision, and how this has influenced their own research programmes. The impression that Prof. Evans had made upon each speaker came across very clearly and highlighted the importance of fantastic mentorship in building a career in the field.
As part of the conference, I was accepted to give a short talk on some of my DPhil work. I presented the findings of my first DPhil project; this was my first talk at a conference and I received some interesting questions to follow up in future work.
Outside of the conference, I also got the opportunity to explore San Francisco. In my free time, I was able to ride the 150-year-old cable car up to Fisherman’s Wharf. From there, I was able to visit the prison house on Alcatraz Island and learn about its time as a Federal Penitentiary. I was also able to visit a variety of other landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Painted ladies. Overall I had a fantastic time in San Francisco, feel that I learned a lot from attending a variety of talks on different areas of organic chemistry as well as broadening my horizons and gaining valuable cultural experience from exploring the city of San Francisco.
Published: 1 December 2023