Our Santa Clara Valley ACS section’s summer event is termed a “picnic” but it is quite a bit more. It has all the trappings of a picnic with barbecued chicken, potato salad, and corn bread on Stanford’s campus surrounding the chemistry buildings. This part of the day is particularly family-friendly with children eating and playing outdoors while their families socialize.
Another phase of the Saturday event is wine-tasting, planned and served by our section’s ‘sommelier’, Dr. Peter Rusch. Peter’s fine taste in wines and connection to California wineries also serve us well at our monthly dinner events. This year we feature wines from the Donati Family Winery, located near Paso Robles. Donati’s grapes are grown in the Paicines AVA (American Viticultural Area) in San Benito County, an hour or so south of San Jose and east of Monterey. Peter will be pouring Donati’s pinot blanc, unoaked chardonnay, rose and claret.
The highlight of our Saturday together is recognition of our section’s 50- and 60-year ACS members. We introduce those guests of honor one-by-one, hearing their tales and savoring their advice accrued over their many years in chemistry. Their careers have contributed to the integrated circuit, regenerative medicine, and safe water supplies. They have found themselves in clean rooms, wet rooms, and dark rooms; on the SF Bay’s mudflats, in wineries, and aboard ships; in lecture halls, labs, offices, and boardrooms. Their stories enrich us with their historical perspectives and accomplishments.
Yet another highlight is the presentation of awards for outstanding service to the section. See the SCVACS newsletter this month and next month for reporting about the recipients of the annual Ottenberg and Radding Awards. Then nominate a colleague for next year’s Ottenberg and Radding Awards!
Finally, the picnic is a relaxed setting to meet new people and see old friends, to talk about research and lives in the SF Bay area, and to relish being in the company of like-minded folks while broadening our views with their range of experiences. We hope to see you there.