Chair's Report Regarding the 2002 Gordon Research Conference on Computational Chemistry

Dr. Bernard R. Brooks
Chair of 2002 GRC-CC
Building 50, Room 3306
50 South Drive, MSC 8014
The National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-8014

We received a large number of conference evaluations at the end of the conference. Bill Swope and I reviewed all of the comments. For the most part they were very good. I expect the score to be well above the GRC average, but I'm not sure how well we did relative to past Comp Chem conferences (I've only seen the 2000 set, and those were also well above the GRC average). Most of the complaints dealt with the weather. There were a few substantive complaints that Bill Swope will consider in putting together the next conference. One such complaint was lack of industrial speakers. It was unfortunate that one of the few industrial speakers I did invite had to cancel at the last minute. Another complaint was that there were not enough foreign speakers and participants. I had limited the number of foreign speakers due to concerns about the budget. There were a few vitriolic complaints about two of the speakers running a sales pitch as part of their talks. There was a complaint that several of the speakers gave the same presentations at other recent meetings (but how was I to know this back in December?). There was one complaint about the poster discussion session (wanted regular speakers) and another about failing to distribute the titles of the late-entry posters. A few people felt that there should have been more quantum mechanics or more method development. People generally felt that the larger number of talks was good and the mix of senior/junior speakers was about right. There was no consistent bad mark for any of the survey questions. Female and non-white participation in the conference increased.

Thanks all for the help in making the conference work.
In all, the conference is in very good shape...

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