A milestone

In April, the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) reached yet another milestone: from one full time staff member in 2011, when the EuChemS Secretariat started its work from Brussels, we have come to three full time employees. This growth clearly shows increase of activities and services that the European Chemical Society is offering to its Member Societies, Professional Networks, individual chemists, and the public, mostly through its policy actions, science communication and scientific conferences. The amazing vast amount of work across Europe is being done by very many chemists and those fond of chemistry, on a voluntary base, supported by the Secretariat personnel.








Here is a short insight, neither complete nor detailed,  into our secret on how we successfully bring knowledge from chemical and other sciences, as well as from education, to everyday life for individuals and societies in Europe and beyond.

As chemists, we simply apply chemical reaction on our work!

“Chemical reaction, a process in which one or more substances, the reactants, are converted to one or more different substances, the products. Substances are either chemical elements or compounds. A chemical reaction rearranges the constituent atoms of the reactants to create different substances as products.” (Source:

Here is our main reaction:

Chemical reaction by the European Chemical Society

At the moment, we have about 197 (16+19*4+51*2+3) known different reactants, unsurprisingly leading to very many products. In this contribution, three of them are presented in more detail, while insights into mechanism of the European Chemistry Society chemical reaction(s) are presented at its annual meetings and elsewhere.


Nineta Hrastelj
EuChemS Secretary General

15th EYCN Delegate Assembly in Sitges

The European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) unites young chemists from 28 European countries and continues to spread their vision as one single voice. The EYCN delegates gathered in Sitges, Spain, on 26–29 January for the 15th Delegate Assembly (DA) and discussed the past activities and planned future endeavours within and beyond the EYCN. Organized by the Catalan Chemical Society (SCQ), the DA welcomed delegates and guests from over 20 countries to exchange knowledge among young chemists in academia, industry, governing bodies, and related networks. Furthermore, the participants had the chance to enjoy an enlightening city tour, led by Dr. Benjamí Oller Salvia, along with traditional Catalan delicacies.

The DA started with welcome addresses from Prof. Charles Bo, SCQ President, Prof. Pilar Goya, EuChemS President, Prof. Javier Garcia-Martinez, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) President-Elect, and Dr. Antonio M. Rodríguez García, EYCN Chair, followed by the EYCN’s team introductions and flash presentations of each national chemical society. Over the course of the event, Prof. Pilar Goya, and Prof. Floris Rutjes, EuChemS President-Elect, shared their insightful views on the future of EuChemS. Moreover, Prof. Javier García-Martinez participated in the DA and delivered an inspiring talk about the future of the chemical profession. Dr. Haymo Ross, Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry – A European Journal, and Prof. Federico Bella discussed scientometrics and publishing in top-tier journals. Educating presentations were also given by Prof. David Cole-Hamilton (former EuChemS President), Dr. Bibiana Campos-Seijo (Editor-in-Chief of C&EN), Prof. Sanjiv Prashar (European Chemistry Thematic Network Association – ECTN), and Dr. Aurora Walshe (RSC). Additionally, Prof. Artur Silva (SPQ President) and Dr. Alice Soldà (EYCN Advisor) presented the next EuChemS Chemistry Congress that will take place in Lisbon, Portugal in August 2022.

Science policy, publishing and student well-being were three important topics of the DA. The EYCN is actively pursuing to share to policy makers the views of young chemists to raise awareness for the conditions of students. In collaboration with the RSC, the Photochimica 2020 contest was launched during the DA, while the delegates were encouraged to actively promote upcoming competitions, such as the European Young Chemists’ Award (EYCA), and the Pint of Chemistry event.

During the DA, Carina Crucho was elected new Treasurer, taking over from Jelena Lazić, and Robert Țincu will replace Katarina Josifovska as Science Team Leader. Furthermore, the 16th DA of the EYCN was selected to take place in January 2021 in Fribourg (Switzerland), coordinated by the Swiss Chemical Society. Meanwhile, the EYCN will continue exchanging information between the chemical societies in Europe, bringing chemistry closer to a wider audience, and supporting young chemists at the early stages of their career.

Katja Väyrynen and Dimitra Pournara, EYCN Delegates
Maximilian Menche
, EYCN Secretary

Impressions from the 15th Delegate Assembly in Sitges, Spain (Photo credit: Dr. Javier Garcia-Martinez and the EYCN Delegates)

EYCN Photochimica contest: Sustainable Development

(left) First placed picture “Out of the Wasteland” by Philipp Gotico and (right) second placed picture “Glow and behold!” by Melanie Nutter.

Over the past months, the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) together with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) hosted the 3rd edition of its Photochimica photography contest with “Sustainable Development” as the main theme of the contest. Similar to its previous edition in 2017 (see our Chemistry in Europe article here), it again attracted dozens of chemists and followers of the network to send in their photos via various social media platforms using the hashtag “#Photochimica2020”. The participants were asked to demonstrate a real and important example of sustainability in action, or a recent scientific or technological development that could be improved in a sustainable way.

The aim of the contest was to further increase the awareness of our consumer behaviour and its influence on the Earth, to bring attention to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and to provide chemists with an opportunity to present their research and/or creativity regarding this vital topic of our lives. The contest was launched on the 27 January 2020 – during the 15th EYCN Delegate Assembly in Sitges, Spain – and enabled the participants to hand in their entries during the coming weeks. The winners were announced on the 22 April 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, to match the theme of the contest. From the over 40 pictures that we received, a combination of two juries formed from EuChemS, EYCN and RSC staff and volunteers selected the two pictures to win the main prizes (see Figure 1) and their twelve favourite pictures which will be showcased in a limited edition calendar for next year. A real must-have!

The two winning pictures are “Out of the Wasteland” by Philipp Gotico and “Glow and behold!” by Melanie Nutter. Together with the winning pictures, following pictures will be printed in the calendar: ”Jelly Nanoparticles” (Carina Crucho), ”The Cyanobacterial Chamber of Secrets” (Valentina Jurkaš), ”Green Lantern” (Kyangzi Calderon Cerquera), ”Stingray” (Tatiana Sazanova), ”Flower Crystals of ‘Green’ Compound” (Ozi Adi Saputra), ”A Poppy Flower” (Denisa Vargová), ”Let There Be Light” (Daniel Cheung), ”Diamonds in the Rough” (Christopher G. Thomson), ”Light for Our Future” (Luca Schmermund) and “A Sprout of Hope” (Philipp Gotico).

Please find the accompanying news piece of the RSC here. Additionally, we will publish more of the submitted pictures in our monthly newsletter.

Nathan Carpentier, Photochimica Project Leader
Maximilian Menche, EYCN Secretary