EuCheMS Position Paper on Brexit
Culture, education and science know no borders. The EU has grown to be a word-leading provider of research and innovation, especially through the Framework programmes. They have provided leadership through fostering collaboration (including developing the European Research Area), supporting excellence, tackling societal challenges, supporting industrial development throughout Europe, improving shared international research infrastructure and building capacity across the region. The framework programmes represent a unique kind of international research programme with respect to their scale and breadth – there is nothing else quite like them in the world. Many of their actions require expertise from a variety of different Member States and third parties and some of them cannot be carried out by individual states. The main beneficiaries are societal and industrial throughout the EU and beyond. There is no doubt that the whole is very much greater than the sum of the individual parts.
It is widely recognised that the highly competitive funding streams and the ability to select collaborators from a wide range of different backgrounds across the EU has driven the quality of research and innovation throughout the EU and has enhanced the competitiveness of EU industry. As one of the most advanced research and industrial nations within the EU, the UK has, both through its input into planning bodies and its participation in programmes, contributed strongly to these improvements at all technology readiness levels from very fundamental research to industrial exploitation. Research and industrial competitiveness across the EU greatly benefit from the input of UK researchers and vice versa. Withdrawal of the UK from the many funding schemes would remove some of the key quality drivers and fundamentally damage research and innovation in Europe as well as in the United Kingdom.
Some of the key positive features of the current arrangements are:
- The ability of UK academic and industrial researchers to participate in all aspects of Horizon 2020 and its successor Framework programmes, including taking leading roles;
- The ability of UK researchers to participate in all forward planning for the remainder of Horizon 2020 and new Framework programmes;
- The ability of EU nationals to live/work/study freely in the UK and the ability of UK nationals to live/work/study freely in the EU.
- Access to major facilities based in the EU and in the UK to all researchers from the EU and the UK;
- A compatible regulatory system for research and innovation within the EU and the UK.
As negotiations proceed to determine the relationship between the EU and the UK following the latter’s withdrawal, EU scientists urge the negotiators to retain as strong as possible a relationship between EU and UK researchers. Continued collaboration without borders will improve research across all European countries for the benefit of mankind.
2017 European Prize for Organometallic Chemistry
The European Prize for Organometallic Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Professor David Milstein, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
This monetary prize of € 5,000 was created by the EuCheMS´ Division of Organometallic Chemistry (DOM). This prize is to be awarded every two years ”for a single piece of outstanding work or for a body of outstanding work primarily done in member countries of the European Union, including Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Israel”.
David Milstein, Israel Matz Professor of Organic Chemistry at The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, has received the Prize for his seminal work in several areas of organometallic chemistry during the last four decades. He has shown, many times for the first time, how the insertion of transition metal complexes into chemical bonds can activate them towards uncommon transformations and form the basis for the design of new catalytic reactions and new synthetic methodology. He has also developed a number of new transformational homogeneous catalysis reactions many times based on metal-ligand cooperation.
For more information on the scientific achievements of the 2017 winner, please consult http://www.weizmann.ac.il/Organic_Chemistry/milstein/
The Prize ceremony and a lecture by the winner will take place at the 22nd EuCheMS International Organometallic Conference in Amsterdam, 9 – 13 July 2017.
Chair of EuCheMS Division of Organometallic Chemistry
Liverpool Executive Board Meeting
There was a lot to discuss at the meeting of the EuCheMS Executive Board held in Liverpool, UK, 8 – 9 June, 2017.
Firstly, our hosts, the Royal Society of Chemistry, arranged for us to tour the facilities that will be used for the 7th European Chemical Congress, 26 – 30 August, 2018. The fabulous conference centre is fully equipped with lecture halls of many different sizes, multiple breakout rooms and excellent space for exhibitions and posters. It is situated on the banks of the River Mersey and there is plenty of accommodation of all prices within walking distance. The Scientific Committee is working on developing an outstanding programme, which the facilities will only enhance. We look forward to seeing you there.
EuCheMS Divisions and Working Parties (Professional Networks, PN) are becoming truly integrated into the EuCheMS network. They run their own budget lines within the EuCheMS account and the Executive Board is encouraging the Divisions to use their funds, earned by divisional conferences, for the benefit of EuCheMS Professional Networks. To this end, we are discussing requiring all Divisional Conferences to be run in association with a Member Society, who will at least handle the finances (bookkeeping), wherever possible. This would mean that before someone bids for a conference, they should first approach their Member Society. Bids will need to be made 4 years before the conference is planned to run. This proposal will be further discussed at the EuCheMS annual meetings in Rome in September this year.
We have also been discussing whether the current EuCheMS Divisions and Working Parties reflect the needs of contemporary science and society. It was noted that most Divisions and Working Parties have been set up because enthusiastic people wish to develop a particular area of chemistry within EuCheMS. This is also the origin of the recently proposed Working Party on Formulation in Chemistry, which we hope will be approved at the General Assembly in Rome. It was noted that enthusiasm is a key driving force, however, steering is needed when a certain PN outlives its usefulness or where there are gaps in subject coverage.
Plans for the Atlantic Basin Conference on Chemistry (ABCChem) to be held in Cancun 23 – 26 January 2018 are now well advanced and registration is open (http://abcchem.org/registration/ ). Numbers are strictly limited so we encourage you to register early for exciting interactions with key scientists from Africa, Canada, Latin America and the USA in a Gordon Conference-like environment.
Giant Periodic Table
The Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Murcia (Spain) has built a giant periodic table on the façade of its building. This periodic table contains the 118 elements recognized by IUPAC, which are identified by their symbol, atomic number and atomic mass, and occupies a total surface of 150 m2.
The periodic table was offered by local companies who wanted to pay tribute to the Faculty of Chemistry in its 77-year history, adding up to the Murcia Gold Medal granted by the regional government in 2015, in recognition of the important role of chemistry, and chemists educated in the Faculty in the development of the Region of Murcia.
Pedro Lozano Rodriguez
University of Murcia
The difficulty of finding strategies that can encourage and motivate students to learn science and, in particular, chemistry, is well-known. In fact, this motivation benefits not only the students who want to pursue research and academic careers, but it also enhances the scientific literacy of each and every student that has the smallest interest and curiosity about this field of interest. It is therefore very easy to state that motivation is both a requirement and an outcome of learning, and it can ultimately act as the most important tool to battle chemophobia. Bearing that in mind, the educational project Chemistry Rediscovered – Playing with chemical reactions was born and led by the Scientific Team of EYCN, in collaboration with EVONIK Industries. The goal was simple: to promote chemistry among the young high-school students from all Europe. This would be achieved with the help of teachers, who would develop scientific projects together with their students and encourage them to present their findings, in the form of a video-experiment combined with an accurate experimental protocol. EYCN national representatives were responsible for promoting the contest among their respective chemical societies. The structure of the contest was very straightforward: Initially, a first selection of the two best videos from each country occurred. Afterwards, all of these national winners competed for the EYCN award, by being submitted to an evaluation performed by an international jury. In total, more than 100 videos were submitted to the contest, coming from 8 different participant countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Sweden. In the end, only the best 15 teams battled for the EYCN award, and, after a tough evaluation, the winner was announced to be the Portuguese team with the project: Pimp my Biodiesel.
Honourable mentions went to MAC – Mad About Chemistry (Greece), Zero karat (Italy), and Silver mirror (Portugal) for their 2nd place, in equal terms, and to De Vuurnatie (Belgium) for their 3rd place in this competition. Organising this contest would not have been possible without our partner, EVONIK Industries, who offered the first prize. We also thank BASF Romania and Brenntag Romania for the prizes for the 2nd and 3rd places.
With the proper motivation, it is truly impressive how young students can excel themselves. The quality and originality of all scientific projects exceeded, unquestionably, all expectations for this inaugural edition of the contest, demonstrating that they can be an active part of the great scientific minds of tomorrow.
You can find all the videos on the EYCN Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/eycn.eu/
EYCN Science Team Leader 2015-2017