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CAS Future Leaders: On the trail toward scientific leadership

Celebrating its 10th year, the CAS Future Leaders program awards early-career scientists with essential scientific, business and leadership training and a trip to the ACS National Meeting & Exposition. This year, 29 participants from 16 countries took part in programming related to five leadership themes (Storytelling, Insights, Strategies, Perspectives and Impacts), all designed to help them advance their careers and make meaningful impacts in science.

Now that the 2019 program has come to a close, we look back on all that happened during their stay. And who better to share the experience (in tweets!) than the CAS Future Leaders themselves.


Storytelling is rarely taught during scientific training. But narratives can be more successful in generating interest and engagement with a topic, improving comprehension, and influencing real-world beliefs. On Monday morning, participants learned the essential leadership skill of storytelling in an interactive workshop with The Story Collider.

Amazing start of the #CASFutureLeaders week, a truly captivating and inspiring talk by @Lizneeley. pic.twitter.com/eRyiSE4ezQ

— Andreas Ehnbom (@a_ehnbom) August 19, 2019

In the afternoon, they reflected on what they learned as they presented their research to fellow Future Leaders and the scientists, technologists, marketers and administrators who work for CAS and ACS Publications.


Successful leaders are results oriented. Whether you need to deliver published manuscripts, funded grants or completed projects, having deep insights into the research process can help you succeed at every step. On Tuesday morning, participants explored the process by which their research is published, indexed and delivered to scientists around the world by CAS.

In the afternoon, they saw first-hand how the advanced chemistry relevance engine in SciFindern can help them quickly find actionable results and deliver on their next big research project.

Day two, the massive technology infrastructure and how the contents are created. We saw behind the scene of CAS cheminformatics which was mind-blowing!
SciFinderⁿ is absolutely fantastic! The retrosynthesis tool is a game-changer!#CASFutureLeaders @CASChemistry pic.twitter.com/whTjniOS7O

— Ehsan Fereyduni (@ehsanOchem) August 21, 2019


Collaboration is essential to scientific progress. Successful leaders inspire the best performance from their collaborators, research teams and others by using a number of coaching techniques, such as building trust, clarifying their vision, respectfully challenging and celebrating success. On Wednesday, participants learned how to apply science-based coaching strategies to help them lead high-performing teams and productive collaborations in an interactive, full-day workshop with scitrain.

Day three, we learned coaching skills to help inspire the best in those around of us. It was a very interactive workshop. We used real-life examples in the form of role-play! Great layout for this wonderful workshop by Scitrain (@scitrainltd)#CASFutureLeaders @CASChemistry pic.twitter.com/SEOZQMWac6

— Ehsan Fereyduni (@ehsanOchem) August 22, 2019


Successful leaders drive understanding and acceptance of their research not only in the published literature, but also with science-policy makers, the media, industry stakeholders and funding organizations. They know the importance of adapting their communication style for their audience and have a broad understanding of the scientific enterprise as a whole. On Thursday, our line-up of science-industry thought leaders shared their perspectives to inspire our participants to make meaningful impacts in the lab and beyond.

Today is about perspectives for #CASFutureLeaders! After insights about chemical angel network, we are learning about communicating #science with @MustLoveScience and social medial for scientists with @DrDorea - highlighting the importance of #chemtwitter pic.twitter.com/JfwAMpRCpb

— Dr. Jovana V. Milic (@jovana_v_milic) August 22, 2019

The three B’s with @K8theChemist! Thank you! Your enthusiasm & energy is over the roof💪🏾, very engaging. Science to suite various platforms for the right audience dynamic! Day 4 of #CASFutureLeaders pic.twitter.com/E6LrghRT4k

— Dickson Mambwe (@DicksonMEdCm) August 22, 2019


Research matters. Whether it leads to innovation in healthcare or technology, or supports a greener Earth, it’s important that leaders recognize the impacts of their research and strive for real-world solutions. On Friday, participants visited with physicians, researchers and cancer survivors at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC – James), one of only 50 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation.

Patient Advocate Kathy Koontz is talking to us about how Chemistry affected her fight against Cancer and supported her recovery. She also made an analogy to this using a mural by Diego Rivera #CASFutureLeaders pic.twitter.com/DjkVTtdTDf

— Dr. Paulette V-R (@STEMxicanEd) August 23, 2019

Last day (day 5️⃣): We visited physicians, researchers and cancer survivors at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute (@OSUCCC_James) where you see your research matters!#CASFutureLeaders @CASChemistry pic.twitter.com/5k3wjXX5nf

— Ehsan Fereyduni (@ehsanOchem) August 24, 2019

For more tweets from the 2019 CAS Future Leaders, including posts from their trip to the ACS National Meeting, follow the #CASFutureLeaders hashtag on Twitter. If you’re a Ph.D. student or postdoctoral researcher who would like to blaze a trail toward scientific leadership, visit www.cas.org/futureleaders.