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Speaker Interview: Jason Camp - The 22nd Annual Review Meeting

Jason Camp

29 Sep 2015

Dr Jason Camp, is one of the speakers at the upcoming 22nd Annual Review Meeting: Latest Development in Organic Synthesis, organised by SCI's Young Chemists' Panel. Dr Camp is an SCI member and active member of the SCI Fine Chemicals Group. He is also Senior Lecturer of Organic Chemistry at University of Huddersfield. Here, Dr Camp tells us about his interest in Organic Synthesis and his career to date.

What sparked your interest in science?
I grew up in a family of construction workers and was therefore constantly building (and destroying) things, from Lego to Lincoln Logs to forts in the backyard. This concept of building and creating carried over into my studies at University and really crystallised during my undergraduate research projects at the University of Adelaide and the University of California, Davis. For me, the fascinating thing about being a synthetic chemist is the ability, on a frequent basis to make something that no one else has ever made or develop a better way to make an important compound. It is the challenge of taking what is known in the literature and building upon it to create new syntheses that enticed me into becoming a scientist.

What keeps you interested?
The joy of finding out new things.

What do you think are the main challenges facing scientists working in this area?
Gaining an increased understanding of the multitude of processes that are occurring within the reaction and then translating this knowledge into a better overall procedure.

You will be giving a presentation at The 22nd Annual Review Meeting: Latest Developments in Organic Synthesis. What led you to become interested in the area of Organic Synthesis in particular?
I was a dual major in anthropology / biochemistry as an undergraduate and whilst I was on a study abroad year in Australia I had the opportunity to work in the organic chemistry lab of Prof Geoffrey Crisp. After working alongside a PhD student in a real lab I was hooked.

What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Publishing our first independent paper based on an idea that started on the back of a Christmas card envelope.

Would you have done anything differently?
No, we are the sum of all of our varied experiences. So to get to where I am today, I needed to do everything that I have done.

What would someone at the start of their career need to do to achieve what you have?
Find an area of research that you enjoy and be passionate in its pursuit.

If you had not pursued a career in this field, what would you have done?
Travel writer / photographer

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