Molecules from simple to as complex as fullerenes have been identified in various astrophysical environments such as the interstellar media, dark clouds, hot cores, outflows of carbon stars, protoplanetary disks, and in the atmospheres of (exo)planets. We are only beginning to understand by sustained laboratory experimental, spectroscopic, computational, modeling, and observational efforts how these molecules are synthesized in the gas phase and on grain surfaces, evolve in those exotic conditions, and become incorporated in to planetary bodies. With the advent of new and upcoming capabilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the scope of molecular exploration will increase many folds over the next decade.
We are organizing a five-day symposium "Molecules in Space: Linking the Interstellar Medium to (exo)planets" at the American Chemical Society's Fall National Meeting to be held in Washington DC from 20-24th August, 2017 to address the exploration of the molecular universe. The symposium will cover a wide breadth of subjects that will include organic inventory of the gas phase, the chemistry of the dark clouds, interplay of gas and dust, hot-cores and corinos, organic inventory of proto-planetary disks, high-resolution spectroscopy, the diffuse interstellar bands, the chemistry of atmospheres of stars and planets, and present and future opportunities such as ALMA, SOFIA, and JWST. Each session will begin with an overview talk by an eminent scholar in the field, followed by talks on astronomical observation, laboratory experiment, quantum chemistry calculations, and modeling.