Members Perspectives

Inaugural Meeting of the Swiss Chemical Society’s “Section Chemistry and the Environment” 

This year’s Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) Spring Meeting was dedicated to the topic of “Chemistry and the Environment” and constituted the inaugural meeting of the newly founded SCS Section with the very same name. It took place virtually on Gather. Taking place on 15 April 2021, it attracted more than 90 participants from Switzerland, as well as several delegates from other national Chemistry and the Environment Divisions, specifically Norway and Spain.  

The meeting was opened by Kathrin Fenner, a founding member and the first President of the newly constituted Section Chemistry and the Environment (SCE) within the SCS. The SCE provides a platform for scientists carrying out fundamental and applied research in the area of environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology as well as regulatory and industry experts in the field. It represents them in national and international organisations. The Section’s scope has been widely defined as covering “chemical processes that molecules undergo in the environment and their impact on it”, where environment may include the biosphere, i.e., the terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric environment, but also the anthroposphere.  

The participants received a greeting message from Ioannis Katsoyiannis, Chair of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) Division of Chemistry and the Environment (DCE). He stressed the strong and long-lasting bonds between the EuChemS DCE and the SCS, and the important role of Switzerland and Swiss researchers in environmental sciences. He warmly welcomed the SCE within the European community and sent his best wishes to all members and participants.  

The following scientific program nicely reflected the SCS DCE’s activities and comprised contributions from academia, industry, and authorities. Topics covered and presented by eminent experts in the field included atmospheric chemistry on and over oceans (Lucy Carpenter), microplastic and global boundary threads (Tamara Galloway), the environmental fate of biodegradable polymers (Michael Sander), water purification and resource recovery by novel metal-organic frameworks (Wendy Queen), chemical innovation to support sustainable agriculture (Claudio Screpanti), future challenges in environmental chemistry legislation (Bettina Hitzfeld), and crop-plant responses to engineered nanomaterials (Arturo Keller).  

Future activities and further information about the SCS are available at  


Thomas Bucheli
SCS Delegate to the EuChemS DCE   

Kathrin Fenner
President of the SCS SCE