I'm not going and if the technical program isn't out yet (at least online). So it's kind of hard to say who's going be there ;) Once the program is out I can look for some of the notables from my areas. Just too help me out what level of chemistry are you (undergrad, grad, postdoc) ?
I just got the Chemical & Engineering News with the technical program this morning. I'm mostly into organic chemistry, so these are the highlights that I would be most interested in seeing if I were going. There are tons of interesting talks, but I tried to parse it to a few big names. I included the school they are at, if I could remember it.
- Recent Advances in Fluorous Chemistry, especially the talks by Dennis Curran (Pittsburgh) and J. A. Gladysz
- Enantioselective Total Synthesis of Abyssomicin C (from the lab of Erik Sorensen, Princeton)
- Total Synthesis of Colombiasin A (from the lab of Huw Davies, SUNY Buffalo)
- Interrogation, Recognition, and Repair of Damaged Bases in DNA (Greg Verdine, Harvard)
- Azides and Alkynes: Tigers in a Cage (K. Barry Sharpless, Scripps, Nobel Prize winner in 2001)
- Catalytic Asymmetric Conjugate Addition of Grignard Reagents (Ben Feringa)
- Mechanistic Study of Complex Catalytic Reactions Through Reaction Progress Kinetic Analysis (Donna Blackmond, this stuff is really cool!)
- Enantioselective C-H Activation Strategies for Natural Product Total Synthesis (Huw Davies)
- Functionalized Mg-reagents for Organic Synthesis (Paul Knochel)
- Development of Methodology for Marine Alkaloid Synthesis (S. Weinreb)
- Total Synthesis and New Synthetic Technologies (K. C. Nicolaou, Scripps)
I went to the one in Anaheim about a year ago. It was pretty good. I only went for one day though. I didn't get to see any of the poster session stuff, I just went to the lectures. We get a lot of professors to come and give talks at my school, but it was really nice to have so many interesting things topics all in one day. I would like to go again, but my boss isn't really a fan of the ACS conferences so he's not too excited about taking the lab. Oh well.
OK, I've done some searching for notables in the area of physical inorganic and while many are represented (aka name on presentations) the only one that is actually presenting is Paul Alivisatos from Berkley: