At the opening ceremony of the 44th Pittsburgh conference on analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy (Pittcon) held in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on 8–12 March, Georgia governor Zell Miller declared Georgia an ‘up and coming place to be for science’ with an ‘unprecedented level of co-operation between industry and education’. He could not have guessed that just days later, he would be calling for Georgia to be added to the list of 11 US states requesting federal aid after being hit by a winter storm that closed most eastern airports from Atlanta to Boston. In this ‘Blizzard of ‘93’, heavy snow and gale-force winds tore up through the east coast causing chaos and stranding many of the visitors to Pittcon.
Chemistry in Britain (May 1993)
Ed. Many RSC members and staff will particularly remember the 1993 Pittcon conference, probably not for the world’s first miniature fibre optic spectrometer from Ocean Optics, but for being stranded in snow-bound Atlanta for several days before being able to return to the UK. During the opening ceremony Governor Miller had invited delegates to stay on in Atlanta after the conference ‘to spend money – we need it!’ As it turned out many of the delegates had no option.
This year, Pittcon was held in Philidelphia back in March and welcomed over 18,000 attendees. While poor weather didn’t strand the RSC delegation, the cold weather did help the event by encouraging delegates to stay inside.