Catalysing Diversity: How to Tackle Our Current Biases

Feb 11, 2024

About the event

🗓️ 27.02.2024 |📍Online

EuChemS is proud to announce its 2024 Global Woman Breakfast online event, titled “Catalysing Diversity – How to Tackle Our Current Biases”. The online event took place on Tuesday 27 February 2023 11:00 – 12:00 Brussels time.

This event addressed the topic of unseen social biases in the world of chemists and the wider community.

In a mixed format with personal examples from panellists and conversations with our audience, our panellists – junior and senior researchers in academia and industry – talked about their experiences. By connecting those who are well established in their career and those who are at the beginning of this path, we aimed to identify the challenges they face, and the biases they have to overcome, while acknowledging that biases are often internalised.

Approaching the matter from the standpoint of science ethics, gender equality and diversity, this event aimed at levelling the playing field, and helping researchers to achieve their full potential.

This EuChemS Global Women’s Breakfast event is part of IUPAC’s Global Women’s Breakfast (#GWB2024) initiative.

The Global Women’s Breakfast event was hosted by EuChemS President Angela Agostiano.

Host & Moderator

Angela Agostiano

Angela Agostiano is Chair of the EuChemS Task Group on Inclusion and Diversity. She is also the President-Elect of the European Chemical Society from 2023 January, following which, in 2024, she will succeed Floris Rutjes as President of EuChemS.

She is currently Full Professor at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy. Her area of expertise is Chemical-Physical Processes. She was the President of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) from 2017 until 2019.

Invited guests

Claudia Bonfio

Dr. Claudia Bonfio is a Group Leader of the Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Strasbourg (FR). She obtained her PhD in Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Trento (IT), focusing on the synthesis and activity of primitive catalysts. Later, she moved to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK) as an MSCA Fellow and then to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge as an 1851 Research Fellow, where she tackled fundamental questions related to the emergence of functional primitive cells. Currently, her group focuses on prebiotic supramolecular chemistry and the self-assembly of primitive lipids into functional primitive cells able to replicate.

Jan Mehlich

Jan Mehlich combines his educational background in chemistry and applied ethics in his research on science, technology and innovation ethics. With experience in accompanying research on nanomedicine, green chemistry, and digital technologies, at his current position as senior research fellow at the Center for Life Ethics at the University of Bonn, his academic focus is on the role of scientists, researchers, engineers, and other scientific-technical experts in assessing, understanding, and controlling the ethical and social implications of technological progress. His examination of the research and innovation process covers both the domain of good professional practice and the anticipation of the effects of novel technologies on environment and society. The insights shall empower researchers and technologists to participate skillfully in innovation discourses and to integrate environmental- and ecological-ethical knowledge into the research and innovation process as a form of ethics-by-design. Among his teaching activities are courses on science and technology ethics, innovation management, critical thinking, and discourse performance.

Marina Resmini

Marina Resmini is Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at Queen Mary University of London. Her research interests are focused on functional nanomaterials, with applications at the interface between physical and bio/medical sciences, particularly as sensors and drug delivery systems. Her publication record is evidence of the multidisciplinary nature of her research interests, that together with her strong track record of leading large cross-discipline consortia, have consolidated her international standing. Recent interests have led to a new program of work, evaluating the environmental impact of polymeric plastics.

She is passionate about equality and positive actions that can drive changes towards a more diverse and inclusive environment in the Chemical Sciences. After election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and ongoing involvement with the Society’s activities, she became a Trustee and Chair of its Inclusion and Diversity committee (2019-2023), contributing to research projects that have resulted in important reports, like  ‘Breaking the Barriers’ and ‘Missing elements: racial and ethnic inequalities in the chemical sciences’. She is currently Chair of the RSC Chemistry Community Fund.

Carla Seidel

Carla Seidel is Senior Vice President at BASF Group Research and leads the department Analytical and Material Science. She is a member of the Board of the German Chemical Society GDCh and of the Strategic Advisory Board Energy for the Helmholtz Society. Carla has served in a variety of leadership roles in BASF from R&D to Strategy, Marketing & Sales and Business Build Up from upstream Intermediates to downstream Care Chemicals and applied chemistry Energy Technologies.She joined BASF as a lab team leader in Central Analytics, Process Research & Chemical Engineering, in 1996, after completing her PhD in analytical chemistry at the University of Hanover.

Cristina Todasca

Cristina Todasca is currently Secretary of the Food Chemistry Division of EuChemS for the second term (was re-elected in 2023). She was part of the first steering committee of the European Young Chemists Network (EYCN, 2007 to 2009) as communication officer and actively served as secretary of EYCN (2011 to 2012) and as chair of EYCN (2012 to 2013). She was engaged in “Career Days program” organized during the European Chemistry Congress in Prague, Istanbul (as convener), Seville and in similar independent events of EYCN organized in Geel, Belgrade and Bucharest.

Since 2020, she serves as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest. She holds a PhD in Food Chemistry since 2006. Her research interest includes NMR spectroscopy applications in food chemistry, with a focus on food quality control and authenticity.