FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 20, 2010

American Chemical Society symposium on Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Aug. 24

BOSTON, July 20, 2010 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) will hold a special day-long symposium on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Tuesday, Aug. 24 during its National Meeting & Exposition here. The symposium, which includes almost a dozen experts, will examine topics ranging from the spill’s effects on marine life to its effects on the safety of seafood. It will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 210C of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, followed by an open-discussion session from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“The goal of the symposium is to gather people with different skills and backgrounds, including leaders in the field of oil spill chemistry, in an effort to study the oil spill and hopefully find out how to turn it around,” explained co-organizer Kermit Murray, Ph.D. He is a professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University (LSU). “The oil spill is a cross-disciplinary problem in which chemistry plays a key role in finding solutions.”

There’s ongoing concern about many facets of the oil spill, including its impact on marine life and the environment and the effects of the chemical dispersants used to break up the oil spill, noted symposium co-organizer John Finley, Ph.D., also of LSU. He noted that some people are particularly concerned about the potential impact of the oil spill on the safety of seafood coming from the Gulf of Mexico.

PLEASE NOTE THAT PRESENTATIONS IN THE SYMPOSIUM ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL TUESDAY, AUG. 24, 8 a.m., EASTERN TIME

Scheduled presenters in the oil spill symposium and their topics include:

  • Ed Overton, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, Chemistry of Spilled Oil
  • Erik Cordes, Ph.D., Temple University, Deep-water Communities of the Gulf of Mexico: Preliminary Findings on the Impact of the Mississippi Canyon 252 Incident
  • Jeffrey Short, Ph.D., Oceana, Intensively Studied Oil Spills: The Exxon Valdez and the BP Blowout
  • Trevor Penning, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - Health and Food Chain Concerns
  • Susan Klasing, Ph.D., Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency, Seafood Safety Following Oil Spills: Fishery Closure and Re-Opening Decisions
  • Paul Bishop, Ph.D., National Science Foundation, Intensively Studied Oil Spills: The National Science Foundation’s RAPID Response to the Gulf Oil Spill
  • David Russell, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry as a Structural Characterization Technique for Petroleomics
  • Alan Marshall, Ph.D., Florida State University, Petroleomics: Molecular Level Characterization and Archive for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
  • Tim Short, Ph.D., SRI International, In Situ Characterization of Distributions of Dissolved Gases, Volatile Organics and Light Hydrocarbons Using Underwater Membrane Introduction Mass Spectrometry

Those presentations are among 8,000 reports scheduled for presentation during the ACS’ 240th National Meeting & Exposition, which runs from Aug. 22-26. The central theme is “Chemistry for Preventing & Combating Disease.” In addition to the oil spill and theme symposia, the conference will offer print, broadcast, and online journalists a rich assortment of spot news and feature possibilities with that span science’s horizons — from astronomy to zoology.

The ACS Office of Public Affairs will operate a Press Center in Room 152 of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. It will host daily press conferences and a news media workroom fully staffed to assist in arranging interviews. The Press Center will have wireless Internet access, telephones, computers, photocopy and fax services, and refreshments. Free news media registration for the meeting is still open.

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