by Tun-Cheng Chien
2016 The First ACS Taiwan Chapter Graduate Student Conference was co-organized by Chemical Society Located in Taipei (CSLT), and Departments of Chemistry of both National Taiwan University (NTU) and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). The organizing committee was headed by Chairperson Professor Jye-Shane Yang (NTU) and composed by Professors Tun-Cheng Chien (NTNU), Tsung‐Shing A. Wang (NTU, coordinator for org. chem.), Yi‐Hsin Liu (NTNU, coordinator for inorg. chem.), I‐Ren Lee (NTNU, coordinator for phys. chem.) and Wei‐Ssu Liao (NTU, coordinator for anal. chem.). The conference was held at Department of Chemistry, NTU in Taipei on Sunday May 29, 2016.
The conference was hosted and organized by junior faculty volunteers who also offered the opportunity as scientific mentors and carrier counselors for student participants. The objective of the conference was to provide a forum to bring together outstanding young scholars to practice scientific writing and presentation skills, to promote chemistry research in related areas, and to enhance collaboration. The participants were limited to graduate students from chemical science-related departments or institutes in Taiwan. A total numbers of 67 students submitted the abstracts to participate oral and poster presentations and additional 30 students from NTU and NTNU registered to attend the conference. In addition, the organizing committee invited 8 professors to serve as referees and commentators for the students’ presentations to invigorate the conference.
Prof. J.-S. Yang delivered the opening remarks for the conference to welcome all the participants and addressed the establishment of the ACS Taiwan Chapter. Prof. T.-C. Chien introduced all the referees to the audience and explained the guidelines for all the presenters, since this was the first time of the conference. The conference was held in four parallel sections, including org., inorg., phys. and anal. chemistry disciplines. Nevertheless, a wide diversity of science in the context of the interdisciplinary chemistry was included in the conference.
The oral presentations were limited to 15 minutes will additional 3 minutes for taking questions and answering and 29 students participated the oral presentation to deliver the speeches. In addition, all the poster presenters were requested to make a one-minute quick talk with non-stop slideshow to briefly describe the poster contents. Afterwards, the poster section was held in the atrium. 38 posters were displayed with heated discussions lasted till the end of the session.
After the scientific program completed, all the participants were invited to attend two special talks before the award ceremony. The conference organized a special lecture given by the recipient of 2015 SciFinder Future Leaders program, Mr. Ming-Chia Tsai. Mr. Tsai is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei. He shared his experience how the SciFinder assisted his research as well as his first attendance to the ACS meeting sponsored by the program with vivid slide shows. The last presentation in the conference prior to the award ceremony was the keynote speech delivered by Dr. Wei-Yan Miguel Li from Academic Writing Education Center, NTU. The title of Dr. Li’s speech was “Top Five Fatal Mistakes in Academic Writing”. She summarized the common mistakes in English science writing based on her teaching experience with Science-majored students. Dr. Li prepared a handout for the students and kindly offered her powerpoint file to the participants. The non-scientific presentation has successfully attracted the students’ interest and was great helpful to all the participants.
The award ceremony was scheduled at the end of the conference day. A total number of 20 oral presenters were selected for Excellent Oral Presentation and 8 poster presenters were selected for Excellent Poster Presentations. All the awardees received the Award Certificates and gifts sponsored by ACS. In addition, the awardees are eligible for the application of the travel grant for the daily living expense subsidies to the ACS meeting. Finally, Prof. Yang gave the closing remarks by encouraging all the students to continue the excellent work in chemical research.
Delivering a professional presentation in English is no doubt one of the important skills in the globalized scientific society. Nevertheless, a large number of Taiwanese students still obtain less opportunity to expose themselves to the environment to practice their scientific presentation. The ACS Taiwan Chapter, therefore, initiated the student conference for the students to experience the English-speaking scientific program. The one-day conference was overall successful and will be held annually. The next conference is projected to be held in mid-May, 2017 and we would encourage more graduate students to participate the event.
The organizing committee would like to acknowledge the generous financial supports from ACS Committee on International Activities, ACS Chemical Abstracts Service, Chitec Technology Co., Ltd. and iGroup Taiwan, as well as the assistance from CSLT, NTU and NTNU.