Where is EuCheMS heading?
At the 2014 General Assembly in Toruń, we held a strategic discussion on where EuCheMS should be going. Four areas were identified and task groups were created on vision, Member Societies (MS), Professional Networks (PNs), and Finance and Staffing. Below, I look at what is happening as a result of this discussion.
As the coordinating body for the work of all the Chemical Societies in Europe, EuCheMS provides an independent and authoritative voice on chemistry and tries to place it at the heart of European policy. We do this by advising the European Commission (e.g. on climate change, research funding); running parliamentary workshops (such as on employability, endangered elements, circular economy, antimicrobial resistance, glyphosate); joining the pairing scheme of the European Parliament; writing articles and declarations (e.g. on chemical weapons in Syria, chlorine in warfare, the State of Israel and chemical weapons, the importance of chemistry (Seville Declaration), CO detectors, etc); responding to open consultations (e.g. acrylamide in food, cadmium in displays) and informing the public through meetings. Especially important in terms of raising the profile of chemistry in Europe have been involvement in expert high-level groups (Wolfram Koch, Open Science Policy Platform) and accepting invitations to join Commission missions on the circular economy. Our wider service to the chemical community involves running subject-specific conferences through our Professional Networks (PNs) and the biennial European Chemistry Congresses (ECCs). We are developing an international strategy with strong links to non-European chemical societies, but our primary focus is on Europe through our Members and PNs.
We strive to involve MS in all our activities, mostly by inviting them to nominate speakers for events as well as for various Awards related matters. We keep them informed about what is going on through the newly redesigned EuCheMS Brussels News Updates (monthly), Chemistry in Europe (quarterly), EuCheMS Yearbook, in addition to the new website and social media. I have attended several meetings of our MS and find them to be vibrant and highly enthusiastic. We are increasing the reach and synergies of EuCheMS through our Supporting Members.
I have also attended the biennial conferences of most of our PNs and am hugely impressed by the breadth and quality of the chemistry presented in them. A new revenue sharing agreement based on these conferences has given many of them funding of their own for the first time so they are able to expand the range of their activities.
Enhancing the profile of chemistry in Europe requires an increasing number of events and hence financial commitment. Income has been increased through a variety of methods and there are ongoing discussions about how this can be increased further. It would also not be possible to carry out the necessary activities without increased staffing in the Brussels offices. We are extremely lucky that Nineta Hrastelj has been joined by Bruno Vilela and Marta Kucza (part-time). I shall be eternally grateful for the enormous dedication and enthusiasm they show in working for EuCheMS and the entire community.
This will be my last editorial as the President of EuCheMS so I would like to thank the whole chemical community for welcoming me into their midst and giving me such loyal support throughout my three years of office. It has been a hugely enjoyable and rewarding experience; I have met so many amazing people and made so many new friends. Thank you all so much.
In its tradition of rewarding excellence, raising the profile of chemistry, and showing how chemistry is deeply intertwined with society, EuCheMS would like to bring to your attention that the nominations for three of our awards are open:
European Chemistry Gold Medal (New!)
Deadline: 31 December 2017
EuCheMS Lecture Award (Redesigned!)
Deadline 31 December 2017
NEW! EuCheMS Historical Landmarks (New!)
Deadline: 30 April 2018
We hope we can count on your participation!
More information on these awards can be found inside this issue of CiE.