Chemistry and Biochemistry

Paul Farnsworth Acts as Atomic Spectroscopy Advisor at Pittcon

Posted: May 21, 2013

Dr. Paul B. Farnsworth was one of four professors asked to serve as advisors for the ACS’ Chemical and Engineering News(C&EN) at the 2013 Pittcon Conference and Exposition, held in Philadelphia March 17-21.

Although the annual conference includes technical symposia,C&ENand Pittcon “is known for its huge exposition of analytical and laboratory instruments from hundreds of companies. A panel of four academic advisors—specialists in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, chromatography, and mass spectrometry—helps C&EN sift through the many new products introduced at Pittcon each year to identify some of the most noteworthy ones.”

This year, C&EN asked Dr. Farnsworth to act as the atomic spectroscopy advisor.

“I think that one of the former advisors recommended me,” Dr. Farnsworth said, who has been studying atomic spectroscopy for 36 years.

Despite having been to Pittcon a number of times, Dr. Farnsworth admits that it is still a challenge to decide how to spend his time there. This year the exposition featured over one thousand companies and hundreds of presenters. With so many professionals coming together, the conference has become a yearly reunion for many to look forward to.

“One of the best aspects of the conference for me is the chance to meet with friends and colleagues who are scattered throughout the world,” he explained. “For example, this year I was able to have dinner with a former student and her family who live and work in Philadelphia, where the conference was held.”

Pittcon has been held in many locations including Orlando, Chicago, and New Orleans. Philadelphia played host this year, giving attendees a chance to explore one of the Nation’s historical cities.

“The location was particularly interesting this year,” Dr. Farnsworth said. “My hotel was across the street from Independence Hall and just a block from the Liberty Bell.”

Next year’s conference will take place March 2-6 in Chicago.

Pittcon is organized by The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, “a Pennsylvania not-for-profit educational corporation which is comprised of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP),” according to

By Jessica Henrie, Ellen Westenhaver