How is chemistry adapting to the future? The impact of the economy and new technology on chemical research will be discussed, as well as emerging trends and concerns in publishing, funding, and ethics.


Hyatt Recency Dallas, Reunion Ballroom E
300 Reunion Blvd, Dallas,TX. Get Directions

Hosted By

University of Texas at Austin Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee (GSSPC)



  1. Symposium Introductory Remarks

  2. Dr. Ashutosh S. Jogalekar Picture

    Impact of information technology on chemistry and related sciences

    Dr. Ashutosh S. Jogalekar

    The internet is significantly impacting the evolution of chemistry research and discourse through the rise of online communication channels like blogs, open-access journals and citizen science. During the last few years blogs and related websites have established themselves as frontline venues for discussing the latest scientific advances, debunking bad science and facilitating informal but pointed conversation about diverse topics of interest to the chemical community. These topics include academic funding, the chemistry job market, peer review, scientific misconduct and graduate life. The internet has also enabled two other harbingers of scientific change: open-access journals and crowdfunding. While the former has greatly expanded the circle of scientific arbiters and beneficiaries, the latter allows scientists to experiment with alternative models of funding and ordinary citizens to support and actively observe the scientific process. All these online ecosystems are serving as “second tiers” of research and critical review, complementing and sometimes challenging established formal modes and norms of scientific inquiry and communication. This talk will take a look at the past, present and potential future of chemical science seen through the rise of this crucial internet-based landscape of scientific dialogue and analysis.

  3. Dr. Gautam Bhattacharyya Picture

    Me, myself, and I: Professional identity in the epistemic and ethical development of chemists

    Dr. Gautam Bhattacharyya

    Pursuing original, scholarly research is particularly emphasized in Ph.D. training because practicing chemists believe that involvement in frontier-level research is the most effective method for helping graduate students learn many of the conceptual and professional aspects of the field. Yet the report, “Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences,” prepared by this organization's Presidential Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences brings into question the efficacy of current training practices with respect to new Ph.D. chemists' ability to function in the workforce. The results of our studies of graduate students and faculty suggest that one way to catalyze the student' robust development is by encouraging their maturation as professional chemists. 

In this talk I will present a developmental model of professional identity that resulted from a study of graduate students from the traditional sub-disciplines of chemistry. Additionally, I will discuss how studying the manner by which graduate students and faculty make decisions regarding their routine activities as scientists has helped us better understand how professional identity appears to be connected to the intellectual and ethical development of chemists.

  4. Dr. Paula E. Stephan

    Placement outcomes for chemists

    Dr. Paula E. Stephan

    I will examine the placement outcomes of individuals trained in chemistry during the past twenty years and what the future may hold for those currently in graduate school or in a postdoctoral position. Data come from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients. A broad definition of chemistry is employed which includes individuals trained in biochemistry and bioengineering. The analysis will show how growth in the number of PhDs awarded in these two related-fields has been considerably greater than that in other fields of chemistry in recent years. I will examine factors that have contributed to the increased supply in these fields and explore possible ways for newly-minted PhDs.

  5. Morning Session Concluding Remarks

  6. Afternoon Session Introductory Remarks

  7. Dr. Sonja Krane Picture

    Navigating scientific publishing

    Dr. Sonja Krane

    “Publish or Perish” is a common axiom with which every researcher and student in chemistry has become all too familiar. Communication through peer-reviewed publications is an essential, yet often confusing, part of scientific research. Understanding the publishing process and requirements of editors and publishers can be unclear. Furthermore, the scientific publishing landscape has been rapidly evolving over the past 20 years, moving from volumes of printed journals lining shelves to exclusively online and even fully open access content. The dizzying pace of this (r)evolution shows no signs of slowing as some key trends have emerged, such as open access, increased international representation, and multimedia and mobile usage. Understanding the publishing process, in addition to having an awareness of publishing trends, can help researchers with decisions that arise when publishing their work.

  8. Dr. Bruce C Gibb Picture

    It's a Revolution! (And you're part of it!)

    Dr. Bruce C Gibb

    Societal evolution occurs faster than biological evolution, and one aspect of societal change – technological development – occurs at a breathtaking pace. Can we keep up? Whilst it took essentially 100 years for phones to halve in size and switch from a rotary dial to push-buttons, the seven years or so since the iPhone was first released has seen a portable phone become a one-stop utility devise that not only makes calls, but can be used for texts, emails, photographs, finding your way from A to B, government monitoring of owners, and literally hundreds of other applications.

In chemistry, even though changes are not so directly driven by profit, the humble UV spectrometer or fluorimeter has become a multi-mode plate reader, the massive stack of Chemical Abstracts a user friendly search-interface of huge power and potential for misuse, and the search for drug candidates an exercise in big data management. For the graduate students of today, what's in store for their careers? This seminar will present no hard answers – the presenter is as clueless as the next person in predicting the future – but it will suggest that optimism and the strength-of-will to hang on are part of the required skill-set. So don't contemplate recession, embrace the revolution!

  9. Coffee Break

  10. Panel Discussion

  11. Symposium Concluding Remarks

Get Involved

Each year, two GSSPC groups are chosen from a University to plan a symposium at the Spring and Fall ACS National Meetings
We are pleased to announce next year's GSSPC will be the committee from University of Notre Dame!
To apply to be the Fall 2015 GSSPC, please contact the Fall 2014 GSSPC.
To apply to be the Spring 2016 GSSPC, please contact the Spring 2015 GSSPC by emailing Karen Antonio