Newswise — WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2016 — Scientists, in three plenary talks, will explore a variety of subjects related to the “Chemistry of the People, by the People, for the People” theme of the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting will take place Aug. 21-25 in Philadelphia.
The presentations, which are among more than 9,000 scheduled to take place at the meeting, will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, in Ballroom B of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The talks will highlight the important role of measurement in chemistry and the ways it affects peoples’ lives, and how the connection among clouds, oceans and climate can be studied. The titles of the plenary talks are listed below:
• Rolf Halden, Ph.D., P.E.: “Urban metabolism metrology: A new discipline elucidating the human condition in cities around the world” • Willie May, Ph.D.: “Metrology: A catalyst for change How better measurements enable a better future” • Kimberly Prather, Ph.D.: “The chemical link between our oceans, clouds, and climate”
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Title Urban metabolism metrology: A new discipline elucidating the human condition in cities around the world
Abstract Understanding and managing the welfare of human populations is a priority of sustainability science. In the age of urbanization and the anthropocene, people are shaping their environment, and the environment in turn shapes the health of the people. Since 2008, the majority of humans live in cities. By 2050, two-thirds of a projected world population of 9.6 billion people will be city dwellers. Already today over half a billion people, or 8% of the current population, live in some 34 megacities of 10 million or more inhabitants. Methods for the real-time analysis of the dynamic behavior, consumption, and health of urbanites are mostly still elusive, but the new scientific discipline of urban metabolism metrology – interpreting a city as one comprehensive unit or organism that can be accessible qualitatively and quantitatively using stocks and flows analysis – promises much needed progress. Whereas urban metabolism metrology typically has been restricted to assessing urban budgets of materials, water, and energy, recent breakthroughs in analytical chemistry, computational methods, and big data access are now paving the way for a real-time flow of information essential to understanding and managing the human condition in cities around the world. Vast opportunities in urban metabolism metrology reside in the analysis of the urban water cycle, as it relates to the chemical makeup of city effluent making its way in an underground sewer network to centralized treatment plants that can double as chemical observatories. Measurement of urban effluent composited for days and representative of hundreds of thousands of people makes possible the near real-time assessment of human wellbeing of urban populations in metropolises around the world. Analysis of raw urban water holds information on how many people congregate in a city at a given time, on their ethnicity, diet, behavior, prescription and illicit drug use, and on their overall health. The speaker will share data collected from over 160 U.S. cities and some 32 million Americans over the past 14 years to highlight advances of urban metabolism metrology, identify obstacles, and outline a path for developing public health dashboards that display in real-time the human condition in cities around the world.
Title Metrology: A catalyst for change How better measurements enable a better future Abstract Measurements are central to our lives. Our cell phones, internet connections, medical tests, forensic methods, weather and climate forecasts, cybersecurity, engineering standards, and even our sports equipment depend on them. Metrology or “measurement science” facilitates new technology development and acceptance in the marketplace. To paraphrase Lord Kelvin “to measure is to know.” And a corollary to this is that measurements of known accuracy and uncertainty are a prerequisite to making products reliably and cost effectively. As the last 100 years has shown, advanced measurement methods open up new scientific frontiers, making today’s sophisticated technologies possible. Laser eye surgery, LEDs, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles and GPS, rescue robots, DNA sequencing – all were made possible or advanced by ground breaking measurement science. This talk will focus on how the advanced metrology taking place in today’s national metrology laboratories -- like NIST -- are not only re-determining fundamental constants like Avogadro’s number and the Kilogram, improving our realization of time to one part in 15 billion, but are also enabling new technologies that will make our cars lighter and stronger, our computers dramatically smarter and faster, our health care to be tailored to each person’s specific genetic makeup, and support next generation communications.
Title The chemical link between our oceans, clouds, and climate
Abstract The oceans cover nearly three-quarters of our planet, yet our understanding of the impact of sea spray aerosols on Earth’s climate remains poor. For instance, aerosols such as sea spray reflect light and cool the planet, while others such as soot absorb sunlight and heat our atmosphere. Sea spray particles also play a vital role in the climate system by serving as the essential seeds upon which clouds forms. Thus, understanding the ocean-atmosphere-cloud system is critical to understanding the influences of this large, natural source on our climate. This presentation will describe the unique approach developed by scientists in the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE) to study the real world complexity of the ocean-atmosphere-cloud system in a laboratory setting. To control the chemistry of seawater, phytoplankton blooms are induced in a 3400 gallon wave channel, which produces a myriad of biological interactions between phytoplankton, viruses, and bacteria. When waves break, microbes--as well as particles comprised of salts and biological species including vesicles, proteins, and sugars—are launched into the atmosphere, which are then studied under controlled conditions. Overall, CAICE studies are designed to better understand field observations and allow predictions to be made on how chemistry impacts clouds, climate, and the environment.
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ACS 252nd National Meeting & Exposition