Light at the end of the tunnel

Welcome words from the new EuChemS President

When I became part of the EuChemS Executive Board one year ago, I could not have imagined that I would start my term as President under the current circumstances. Even though the virus in Wuhan was already there, not many of us could anticipate that in March the majority of European countries would be in lockdown and that the rest of 2020 would be dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Lisbon was postponed for two years, the 50 years anniversary of EuChemS was celebrated online instead of in Prague, and all physical meetings were cancelled and replaced by Zoom meetings. I am sure that also Pilar Goya had a different year in mind to end her term as President; nevertheless, I would like to thank Pilar for leading EuChemS with great dedication and enthusiasm during the past three years.

Since the last two months we can be somewhat more optimistic, there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination campaigns that have started in many countries. New vaccines, some even with an unprecedented mode of action, have been developed in an extremely short period of time, which is clear proof of the level of current day science. Extensive research, performed by both academic and industrial scientists, has contributed to a wealth of in-depth knowledge about the COVID-19 virus, has led besides vaccines to improved clinical treatment, and has laid the foundation for new antiviral drugs. The role of science, with Chemistry being an integral part, and the dedication of scientists to successfully address the COVID-19 challenge cannot be underestimated.

The role of science, with Chemistry being an integral part, and the dedication of scientists to successfully address the COVID-19 challenge cannot be underestimated.

Most likely, a disruptive event as this pandemic will cause that what previously looked normal will change. We have learned that online meetings can be good alternatives to physical meetings thereby avoiding time-consuming and laborious traveling. Working from home can be done and may be a more viable possibility than we thought before the pandemic. Conferences may also change – would we still spend many hours traveling to a meeting to deliver a single lecture and travel back again, while we can also deliver the lecture online? Some things will change, and the future will tell.

With all attention focused on the pandemic, one would almost forget that also Brexit came at the end of last year. I am glad that this political decision does not affect the role of the Royal Society of Chemistry within EuChemS and that we, as European societies, will keep working together as we have done before. That also makes me optimistic about the future, and I cannot wait to start!

Floris Rutjes
EuChemS President 2021 – 2023


EuChemS at #GWB2021

EuChemS organised its first Global Women’s Breakfast event as an interactive webinar on 9 February 2021, which was a part of the global initiative of IUPAC.

You can watch the EuChemS @Global Women’s Breakfast 2021 webinar recording here.

Together for more Chemistry

Following an initiative of the EuChemS Outreach Task Group, we are introducing a new section into the Chemistry in Europe newsletter: ‘Chemistry Talks’. In this new section, we want to bring publications from across Europe under the spotlight of our readers and bring forward articles of interest which are originally published elsewhere.

Have a look at the first contribution from Chemistry Views here and contact us if you are willing to exchange publications with EuChemS.

Year Book 2020

Is 2020 a year to remember, or a year to forget? For the European Chemical Society, last year was of great importance – we celebrated our 50th birthday! Our 2020 activities are represented in the most recent EuChemS Year Book, which is available here. As every year, it represents a unique annual report designed to highlight major advancements of our Chemistry society, and with it, we say “Goodbye 2020, let’s get ready for even better 2021!”

EuChemS Secretariat