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ASP Newsletter: Fall 2020, Volume 56, Issue 3
By William Gerwick, PhD
The value of international engagement in US science is enormous, and recent proposed changes in immigration law for foreign students is having a devastatingly negative impact. It has been expressed that the biggest impact of the current administration is to have “sown the seeds of fear” in our foreign student population. This essay explores some of the highly positive aspects of foreign students being trained in the US and gives my perspective on some things that should be done to reverse the negative trend of the current administration.
By Nicholas H. Oberlies, PhD
The first ASP meeting I attended was in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1984. If you can find pictures from that meeting’s final banquet (and I fear that Barry O’Keefe already has), you might see an eager graduate student with a long, dark ponytail, possibly wearing a lobster bib. I sported that ponytail with a great deal of pride for over 4 years, and then one day, I cut it off, essentially shaving my head. Later that day, there was a parade of sorts coming by the labs at Purdue, all to see ”the new Nick,” so to speak. My boss, Dr. Jerry McLaughlin, a former associate editor of the Journal of Natural Products and president of the ASP in 1982-1983 (aka the six of clubs in the ASP deck of cards), came by and said: “You know, Nick, there is only one constant in life, and that’s change.”
By Joshua J. Kellogg, PhD
As natural product researchers, field work is always one of the great benefits of our research that we look forward to and treasure. Accounts of famous botanists and explorers fuel our imagination and perhaps even prompt us to consider natural products as a career. Who hasn’t wanted to drag a GC into the middle of the Amazon, à la Sean Connery? I was similarly excited to embark on journeys to distant places; when I joined my graduate lab, my advisor Dr. Mary Ann Lila explained that the project I had originally sought to join, an International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) project in Central Asia, was rapidly wrapping up with little chance of refunding. Her next project was in Alaska, had just been funded, and would entail at least one or two trips into the field.