Members Perspectives

EuChemS: a personal experience

Presiding EuChemS has been a great honour and pleasure. It has given me the chance to  participate in many scientific meetings, events with the general public, sessions at the European Parliament, and other, different activities, and most importantly, it has allowed me to encounter so many wonderful people.
During my time at the forefront of the EuChemS Executive Board, many important events took place. 2018 started  with a change in our name: the same  acronym, EuChemS, now means European Chemical Society, then came the successful Liverpool Congress, in 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table, with our well known iconic and thought provoking periodic table, which definitely helped to make EuChemS known worldwide; the  congress entitled “Setting the Table: Women and the Periodic Table” and the first edition of the Historical Landmark Awards. 2020, strongly marked by the pandemic, was also the year of our 50th anniversary, commemorated with a successful online celebration, and by publishing different publications to recall our history from our day as FECS (Federation of European Chemical Societies) to EuChemS.

These are just some highlights of the  many achievements of EuChemS, which would have never been possible without the dedication of so many enthusiastic people in different capacities to whom I owe much gratitude.

First, I want to thank Presidents David Cole Hamilton and Floris Rutjes, for their generous advice, and collaboration, and Luis Oro for introducing me to EuChemS.

I am also extremely grateful for the counsel and support of my Executive Boards, under all circumstances. I cannot name all, but I would like to mention Robert Parker, Wofram Koch  and Antonio M. Rodríguez García from EYCN. And my heartfelt thanks goes to Eckart Rühl, the Treasurer for his committed and disinterested dedication to the financial matters.

The core of EuChemS  are its Professional Networks, – both divisions and working parties – so I am very thankful to all of them. I’d like to specifically mention EYCN, our network of dedicated early career  researchers who are the future and guarantee of our organization.

EuChems is a society of societies, so our Member Societies are the reason for its existence. I would like to express my gratitude to them not only for their financial support, but also for their sense of belonging  and pride in participating in this joint venture. My acknowledgement to the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ)  for having always supported me.

Finally, let me recognize the dedication and commitment of our secretariat in Brussels, to our policy and communication officers, always selected, trained and coordinated by our Secretary General Nineta  Hrastelj, with whom it has been a pleasure to work with and to learn so much about EuChemS.

Having been a part of EuChemS all these years has been a most rewarding experience, but above all it has allowed me to meet so many extraordinary people, so let me thank each and every one of you for accompanying me in this adventure. All together we can look back with pride and ahead with great expectations.

Pilar Goya
EuChemS Past President

2nd STEM-Continuous Professional Development Summer School

The 2nd STEM-CPD Summer School was held at the University of Naples Federico II (Naples, Italy) on 2-7 October 2022. This activity took place as part of the ongoing 3-year project STEM Continuous Professional Development at European universities, funded by the EU under the KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices and KA203 – Strategic Partnerships for higher education action of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The European Chemical Thematic Network form part of the project consortium alongside the Universities of Amsterdam, Oulu, Naples Federico II, Ljubljana and Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The aim of this project is to promote discipline-oriented Continuous Professional Development among STEM lecturers (Road Map). The activities of this project integrate technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) in teaching and developing technology-based approaches.

The Summer School is a fundamental part of the project where the problem of a lack of subject specific training in teaching in STEM disciplines for University Lecturers is addressed and solutions are put forward.

The objective of the Summer School is to prepare the participants, namely, European University lecturers, in three dimensions: teaching competences, attitudes and using different types of CPD activities. Successful participants are named as CPD Ambassadors and bestowed upon the task of spreading the gospel of Continuous Professional Development in teaching STEM disciplines by the philosophy of educating the educator in their home institutions.

At the beginning of October, we celebrated the 2nd STEM-CPD Summer School in the vibrant city of Naples (Italy). There were 15 participants from 10 different institutions and with 7 countries being represented. Instructors from the Project consortium were joined by external experts in research in didactics of STEM disciplines.

The summer school covered different topics and several intended learning outcomes, all tailored to the specific needs of the participants. In this edition we started by defining the most important “Challenges in teaching and learning in HE” (by Nataša Brouwer) and faced topics such as “Constructivism and Inquiry-Based STEM Education” (by Iwona Maciejowska), “How to design user cases and scenarios” (by Matti Niemela), and “How to design a micro-MOOC?” (by Črtomir Podlipnik and Bartosz Trzewik). An important part of the Summer School was dedicated to several hands-on sessions in which each participant had to develop their own user case, by identifying problems or challenges in teaching STEM disciplines in their home institution and putting forward possible solutions to be developed as CPD activities.

If you would like to know more about our project and STEM-CPD and even enrol in our 3rd Summer School in 2023, please visit our webpage and also join us at our meetings in Amsterdam  (2023 European Chemistry Thematic Network Annual Meeting on 13-15 April) and Ljubljana (2023 Final conference STEM-CPD@EUni Project on 2 June).

Sanjiv Prashar
President of the European Chemistry Thematic Network
Vincenzo Russo, Oreste Tarallo
University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy