Monday, July 29, 2013

NOS 2013, including a quiz

Carmen Drahl has written up a really interesting retrospective of NOS over the years; I especially enjoyed the technological progress of presentation equipment and dress code:
For example, “the meetings are much more informal now, certainly in terms of dress,” according to C. Dale Poulter, a University of Utah professor and editor of JOC, who attended his first NOS in 1969. “You always wore a suit and tie, or at least a sport coat and a tie.” Today, you might see Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. 
Like any meeting, NOS has weathered technological winds of change. Cornell University’s Jerrold Meinwald recalled toting his presentation to the 1963 meeting, not on a laptop but on fragile glass slides, about 3 × 5 inches each. “They weighed a ton,” he said. 
By the late 1960s, glass slides gave way to slides made with camera film. Most slides were hand drawn and then photographed, Poulter said. In humid environments, slides could warp, he explained. “Sometimes, the intensity of the projector lamp would burn the slides. I saw a lot of presenters move rapidly through a talk because their slides were getting burned. 
“For someone who’s had to go through all that,” Poulter continued, “ChemDraw and PowerPoint are like dying and going to heaven.”
Scroll down and take the quiz about NOS history -- it's quite challenging!  


  1. Thanks for the plug, CJ. Designing quizzes is hard! You want to not make it too easy, but you don't want to frustrate people either.

  2. I don't think I've ever worn a suit and tie to an ACS meeting (though I've never given a talk).

    Snide question: would you rather a speaker at an ACS/NOS talk a) wear a bright Hawaiian shirt while giving a talk or b) use Prof. Nicolaou/Baran/etc.'s slide color and design?

    1. Hawaiian shirt. Busy slides distract your audience from what you're trying to say. A loud shirt just makes someone think "that person's probably a character" and move on. Related thought-I like the books on presentations by Nancy Duarte.