Pittcon is the premier annual conference and exposition on laboratory science. Proceeds from Pittcon fund science education and outreach at all levels – kindergarten through post-doctorate and beyond. Pittcon donates approximately one million dollars annually to in support of various science outreach activities, including science equipment grants, research grants, scholarships and internships for students, awards to teachers and professors, and grants to public science centers, libraries, and museums. Though the specter of the COVID-19 virus loomed and questions surrounding the virus’ possible impact at that time remained largely unanswered, Pittcon 2020 continued, cautiously, between March 1 and 5 in Chicago, Illinois (US). This marked the 71st iteration of the analytical chemistry and laboratory science conference and exposition.
Pittcon 2020 was a true accomplishment given the impact of the COVID-19 virus felt throughout the world and on this heavily international laboratory science conference and exposition. Pittcon 2020 still attracted a very engaged group, though many international exhibitors and show attendees were unable to attend due to various governmental and personal travel restrictions.
The active, dynamic exposition floor attracted 509 exhibitors occupying 925 booths, all displaying the latest innovations in laboratory science and laboratory technologies. The exposition hall, located at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, was open March 3, 4, and 5, to a noteworthy 9,011 attendees. Exhibiting companies and attendees alike hailed from numerous chemistry specialties within the bioanalytics, cannabis and hemp, energy, environmental, food science and agriculture, forensics and toxicology, industry and manufacturing, life science, nanotechnology and material science, and pharmaceutical fields.
Many attendees took part in Pittcon 2020’s technical programming and continuing education elements. The Wallace H. Coulter Lecture featured Professor John A. Rogers (Northwestern University) on topics regarding nano-fabrication, techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, and bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. The Plenary Lecture featured Dr. Ziva Cooper (UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative) on the neurobiological, pharmacological, and behavioral variables that influence both the positive and negative potential of cannabis and cannabinoids. The two lectures accentuated Pittcon 2020’s 67 Short Courses, 34 Networking Sessions, and 1,575 Technical Program presentations.
Pittcon 2020 also marked the first installment of the now annual Pittcon Party. Held at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, the event attracted 1,250 guests and featured exclusive access to the museum, refreshments, music, dancing, and a stirring welcome speech from Pittcon 2020 President, Dr. Jane Chan.
Pittcon 2021 will be held March 6–10, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.