Pint of Chemistry 2019
The Pint of Chemistry is a single-night outreach event born from a collaboration between the EYCN and Pint of Science in celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT2019). The event was sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and supported by IUPAC, EuChemS and by the early-career teams of the national member societies, to which our sincere gratitude goes.
For those who do not know, Pint of Science is a non-profit platform that empowers individuals and organisations to improve their public engagement and facilitate the dialogue between scientists and non-scientists. Pint of Science aims to: i) encourage a world where anyone can have an opinion on science, developing new research ideas through a conversation where everyone is involved; ii) inspire speakers to view public engagement as a creative outlet and a worthwhile part of their work; iii) foster a comfortable environment for the audience to attend, engage and cultivate curiosity; iv) instil confidence, nurture critical skills and provide a platform for event organisers to carry out a public engagement in the community.
The EYCN embraces those keystones and, considering this particularly relevant year for Chemistry, we believe that it was necessary to organise an event targeting a broad audience and to showcase the importance of all the 118 elements, along with the role they play in our everyday lives.
The event took place in the second week of November 2019 in seven European cities: Liverpool (UK), Huddersfield (UK), Cambridge (UK), Ciudad Real (Spain), Paris (France), Bologna (Italy), Munich (Germany). The organising teams were composed by EYCN delegates and the local Pint of Science volunteers. All the invited speakers wonderfully managed the split between scientific depth and breadth by giving detailed explanations of the origin of the periodicity of the periodic table and by providing insightful everyday examples featuring various elements. They connected the 150 year-old history of the periodic table with interesting examples of the chemistry of life and pointed to modern challenges, such as the over-usage of different elements. Overall, Pint of Chemistry reached as much outstanding as unexpected results, such as collecting even more than 100 people in some locations and therefore leading us to already begin planning next year’s edition of the event. All the attendees enjoyed every moment of the evening although they were not coming from a scientific field and definitely, they took home an important message: Chemistry is everywhere! Everything you hear, see, smell, taste, and touch involves chemistry and chemicals. And hearing, seeing, tasting, and touching all include an intricate series of chemical reactions and interactions in your body. With such an enormous range of topics, it is essential to know about chemistry at least on some level to understand the world around us.
Advisor of the EYCN
… the 4th edition of the EuChemS Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (EUGSC-4) at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) in Spain between 22-25 September 2019. This conference continued the successful meetings held in Budapest (2013), Lisbon (2015) and York (2017) and offered opportunities to discuss the latest developments in green & sustainable chemistry, creation of new partnerships and amplification of existing networks between academia and industry.
The principal topics of this conference were green/bio-polymers, photochemistry & catalysis, electrochemistry & catalysis, carbon dioxide valorization and biomass conversion. The program was spread over four days and also involved a joint session co-organized by the Division of Chemistry and the Environment (DCE) that focused on water treatment. Further to this, two industrial sessions were organized with contributions from various representatives from larger and smaller companies, and start-ups discussing the role and impact of sustainable approaches in the commercial sector (BASF, Pirelli, Clariant, Henkel, Zymvol and Ert-Flow). In total, 149 participants from 22 different countries attented the conference. Among them, 6 were plenary speakers and 10 keynote speakers. 11 came from the industry sector. A total of 45 people gave an oral communication and there were two different poster sessions with a total of 52 contributions. Prof. Arjan W. Kleij, ICREA professor and Group Leader at ICIQ, was the chair of this event.
The conference was warmed-up by the traditional festival of Santa Tecla with celebrations occurring all over the streets that culminated in music and fireworks in the night of the conference dinner, making it even more memorable.
During the closing ceremony on Wednesday 25 September, Prof. Carles Bo gave a speech as the President of the Catalan Society of Chemistry (SCQ) and Prof. Kleij who delivered the WILEY awards (3 prizes of €100 each) for the best posters. The selected winners were David A. Valverde Barquero – Universitat Jaume I; Yasmin Raupp – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Moreshwar Chaudari – Indian Institute of Science Education and Research.
The next iteration of the conference (EUGSC-5) will be held in Greece in 2021. This meeting will be in collaboration with the Association of Greek Chemists and the Hellenic Green Chemistry Network.
Ana Aguiar Ricardo warmly thanks Arjan Kleij and all participants in the EUGSC-4 and wishes all success to the Greek Chemical Society and Professor Kostas Triantafyllidis who will chair the following conference EUGSC-5.
Chair of the EuChemS Division on Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Chair of the EuChemS Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (EUGSC-4)
EuChemS Executive Board Member