An argument with CalTech. Chemistry Grad.

Anant Babu Marahatta
Ph.D. student, Tohoku University

Theme of this article is: “Knowing English is not enough to present Chemistry but one must know Chemistry in English.” (some thing about Amphidynamic Crystal)
In order to strengthen and enhance the education and research functions of graduate schools of Japanese universities, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) introduced the “Global COE (Centers of Excellence) Program in some of the top universities of Japan on 2002. Another main objective is to foster highly creative young researchers who will become world’s leaders in their respective fields through experiencing and practicing research of the highest world standard. Molecular complex Chemistry is one of the fields covered by the GCOE.

Being one of the Chemistry doctoral students of the nation’s high tech. university [Tohoku University] with the nation’s largest chemistry department, I also belong to the network of GCOE program. One of the annual events of the Tohoku Univ. sponsored by this program is to provide a chance for the doctoral students to lead a week long Int’l conference. Including the key speakers and the chairpersons of each section, every participant must be the Ph.D. candidate of Chemistry. The professors only act as a facilitator. He/she never interferes the students’ leadership.

One of the key speakers of the program was from California institute of Technology (CalTech). He was presenting his research work related to coordination chemistry and was chanting the effects of ligands to synthesize the Supramolecules with the metal ions. He was also claiming that his research output is fabulous and praiseworthy. One of the major parts of that molecule was the phenylene ring encapsulated into the cage that can create enough free space for undergoing smooth rotation. He was calling this ring as a “spacer” because the surrounding spokes can control the space around the phenylene. Any way, we around 200 students were listening his interesting speech. Being a chair person of this section, I was feeling that he was pretending some hidden facts behind his research area even though he was very bold and smart guy. He presented well and wrapped his talk by thanking his collaborators.
Then, it’s my time to open the floor for the discussion. I asked the participants for the comments and the queries. Some students asked about the effects of the coordinating efficiency of ligands’ and some other related stuffs. A Tohoku professor was suggesting him about the possibility of changing properties of that supramolecule by changing central metal ions. 

Before announcing the next speaker, I raised my query about that spacer so called phenylene ring. I am/ was very much familiar with such molecules having central rotating part encased into the static part. I also knew that such type of molecular crystals with rotating part and static part in a same molecule are called Amphidynamic crystal, but this is a very new type which I encountered while reading a paper published on 2002. My question was “does your molecular crystal belong to Amphidynamic crystal?” But that guy did not understand the last term and instead asked me for the clarification. I just clarified him by reminding the term “Amphibia” and then called the next speaker. 
Immediately after this session, the same guy approached and said to me “Knowing English is not enough to present chemistry but one must know chemistry in English.” Excellent understanding!!!! isn’t it?

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