A chance to find out about the activities hosted by the different RSC Networks. From the 35 Local Sections and 75 Interest Groups to RSC Reps and International Sections, this blog should give you a taster of the 500 events organised each year by the various RSC Networks for both RSC members and the public. If you've recently held an RSC event and would like to contribute to the blog, email: networks@rsc.org.

International Conference On Chemical Sciences, Sri Lanka

'Role of Chemistry Research in National Development'

Chemists from all over the world attended the International Conference on Chemical Sciences at Waters Edge and Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI), Colombo, Sri Lanka from the 20th to the 22nd June (2012). Organised by the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon (ICHEMC), with the theme ‘Role of Chemistry Research in National Development’, the conference brought together young chemists and those with much experience and expertise.

The 41st ICHEMC Annual Sessions, 71st Anniversary Celebrations, and the Annual Dinner (at which the new President of the ICHEMC, Dr S. Mohandas, was inducted) ran in conjunction with the conference.

Three days of focused activity provided participants with a wide range of ways to engage with one another, including; plenary lectures, invited lectures, keynote lectures, workshop panel discussions by distinguished, world renowned chemists, and presentations by young chemists supported by their supervisors. Five parallel sessions in different areas of interest maximised the number of each on offer. Immediate ICHEMC Past President Professor S. Sotheeswaran said “The enthusiasm with which sessions were attended was reward enough for the organisers. The only drawback was that parallel sessions, as always, meant that choices had to be made and some lectures missed out.”

The conference provided an excellent opportunity for chemists, environmentalists, food scientists, educators and other scientists to discuss how chemistry can tackle global challenges (including clean air and safe water, healthy food, and dependable medicine), the delivery of chemical education to meet the UN Millennium Development goals, and to exchange ideas. All the activities were tied into the greater discussion of the role of chemistry research in national development and will hopefully have fostered research collaborations.

Professor W.S. Fernando received the Distinguished Service Award for tireless and continued promotion of the aims of the ICHEMC, and Young Chemist Ms P. K. V. Ranji was awarded The Kandiah Award for Basic Chemistry and gave the Kandiah Memorial Lecture. Prizes and bursaries were awarded to the ICHEMC College of the Chemical Sciences’ brightest chemists, and the winners of a number of the ICHEMC’s Chemistry competitions organised for schools were presented with awards. Winners were from as far away as Bandarawela, Galle, Matara, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Kalmunai, Ibbagamuwa, and Ruwanwella.

The delegates of the International Conference and Annual Sessions were from all regions of Sri Lanka, representing 38 different institutions of higher education, and, internationally, from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, the Fiji Islands, Australia, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, the UK, the USA and Canada. The organisers’ hope that the contacts made at the conference will be lasting and fruitful, facilitated by modern technology.

The ICHEMC thank all their sponsors, including major sponsors OPCW, IUPAC, Royal Society of Chemistry - UK, National Science Foundation – Sri Lanka, AMW, CIC Paints, and Multiform Chemicals.  Without their sponsors, the ICHEMC could not have achieved their goal of promoting Chemical Education and Research for National and International Development.

Posted by Holly Salisbury on Dec 3, 2012 10:45 AM Europe/London

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