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.

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Photograph of the harbour, with ruins in the background
Members of the Mid-Wales Local Section of the RSC joined Friends of the Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, on 25th November 2013 for the launch of a ‘chemistry trail’, a guide for local residents and visitors to the significance of chemistry in the coastal environment — and in Aberystwyth Harbour / Marina in particular.

Materials and the Sea’ and ‘Defnyddiau a’r Môr’ are the titles of the English and Welsh editions of the 16-page illustrated booklet, which is available from Ceredigion Museum.  It takes readers for ‘a walk around Aberystwyth Harbour’, drawing attention to and asking questions about many features of harbour life and activities.

Materials and the Sea contributors
Conceived, developed and written by Dr Jen Horgan, a committee (and committed) member of the local section, it suggests that readers start at the harbour’s ‘interpretative seat’ which records the historic importance of metals to the local economy, particularly lead and silver which were mined locally for many centuries.

The different materials used for the hulls of boats, from wood in medieval times to the fibreglass and glass-reinforced plastic today, are compared.  The chemical corrosion of metals in hulls, lobster pots and railings is described in terms appropriate for youngsters studying science at school, and methods of preventing corrosion, such as the use of sacrificial anodes, are explained.  The many kinds of rope in the harbour, often unnoticed, allow comparison of the properties of natural fibres (hemp, sisal, coir) with those of synthetic materials (nylon, polypropylene, polyester).
Occasionally, attention is diverted away from the harbour to discovering where ropes were made at the ‘rope-walk’, to the neighbouring ruins of Aberystwyth Castle which was the base for a Royal Mint for a few years during the Civil War, and used local silver to produce coinage, or to the Ceredigion Museum to examine its displays of ropes and locally-minted coins.
Materials and the Sea bookletsIt is anticipated that this guide will be both interesting and enlightening for local residents and visitors alike, and be useful to schools in relating chemistry to the local surroundings.  The Mid-Wales Local Section is most grateful for the work Jen Horgan has put into this project, drawing on her experience of teaching and explaining.  Funded by the RSC, the project follows the RSC’s strategy of familiarising the public at large with the importance and impact of chemistry. 
Dr Brian Davies
Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Jan 10, 2014 11:05 AM GMT
ChemCareers 2013, Hyderabad
The New Indian Express, Hyderabad, Sat 19 Oct, features ChemCareers India 2013

Around 750 students attended ChemCareers India, held in association with RSC-DS, RSC-UK, the British Council and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT).
The day was split into three sessions. The speakers included Prof Peesapati (Hon. Secretary of the RSC Deccan Section), Mr Andrew MacAllister (British Deputy High Commissioner), Julie Franklin (Royal Society of Chemistry careers advisor) and Dr Ahmed Kamal (IICT). Opportunities for chemistry and pharmacy graduates were discussed. Parallel sessions by experts from industry and academia were held. ChemCareers India 2013: Mr Andrew MacAllister (British Deputy High Commissioner) and Julie Franklin (Royal Society of Chemistry careers advisor) 

Later, there were stalls from R&D, industry and academia. In the final session, skills such as resume writing, drafting statements of purpose and offering references, and searching  for jobs through social media were all covered by Mr Arun Pillai (Hyderabad Deputy High Commission), Ms Julie Franklin and Mr Niroop Raccha (Texavi solutions).
“It was a successful & satisfying program conducted by RSC and appreciated by one and all.”

World Diabetic Day lecture
On 14th November 2013 being Worlds Diabetic day RSC-DS organized an expert lecture on “Management of Diabetes” at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) for teaching staff, research students and MS pharma students.
A brief summary of Dr Das talk is given below.
Abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemias, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis form important components of the type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.
Hyperglycemia is proinflammatory whereas insulin has anti-inflammatory actions. Ventromedial hypothalamic lesion, neuron-specific insulin receptor knockout, and disruption of endothelial nitric oxides synthase (eNOS) produce all the features of the type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. The brain is rich in insulin receptors, and administration of insulin into the hypothalamus reduces food intake and lowers plasma glucose. This implies that BDNF may be of therapeutic importance in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.
Top of the Bench

Pupils at Model High School participate in Top of the BenchRSC-Deccan Section in association with the Alumni association of Model school, Osmania University arranged a “Top of the bench” program on hands on experiments in chemistry for 8th,9th and 10th class students on 30th November, 2013 at Model High school, Hyderabad. The program is aimed at giving school children the direct benefit of dealing with school level “chemistry lab experience” in an interesting way. About 90 school students and 20 school teachers actively participated in the event. In this connection a practical laboratory for school students was inaugurated in a modest way in the school premises with the help of RSC-Deccan Section.

Prof. V Peesapati and Dr Y V D Nageshwar organized the event to demonstrate chemistry lab experiments like pH determination using cabbage juice with acids and alkalis around the house (vinegar, lemon juice, water, NaCl, baking soda, sodium carbonate, domax and sodium hydroxide etc.), solubility of ionic and covalent compounds and density determination apart from separation techniques using thin layer chromatography with the aid of minimally expensive materials.

Pupils at Model High School participate in Top of the BenchThe participants, who are from low- income group parents, expressed their pleasure in conducting lab experiments on their own with the help of RSC-DS and many of them expressed their opinion that RSC should help school students guiding them in their science pursuit in future also.

RSC-DS has distributed certificates, books, pens and periodic tables with the RSC logo to all participants.
The Principal of the school expressed his happiness for the event and proposed a vote of thanks.
RSC-DS would like to thank the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, for their support in organizing these events.

Seminar on advanced topics in Chemistry and Quiz program 7th December, 2013

Advanced topics in Chemistry seminar in association with Holy Cross School for Women - photo of speaker and her presentation slideIn continuation of our activities, RSC-DS has conducted a one day seminar in association with Holy Cross College for women, Hyderabad. The seminar has provided an opportunity not only for UG and PG students but also for college teachers, to expose them to topics of interest in the field of chemistry by inviting Expert lectures.

Prof. V Peesapati, Hon. Secretary, Deccan Section welcomed the participants and speakers and explained briefly the aim of the seminar and RSC activities in this direction.

In the morning session Dr. R Srinivas, Senior Scientist, IICT, spoke on “Basics in Mass Spectra”. He gave a detailed account of the history of mass spectroscopy, including the noble Nobel laureates that mass spectrometry produced over the years. He dwelled upon the fundamentals of high resolution mass spectrometry and its importance in structure elucidation of organic molecules.

Dr. Ch Krishna Kumari delivered a talk on “Ionic Liquids”. She discussed the growing importance of ionic liquids for the last 10 years because of their unique properties that make them desirable for many chemical applications; manipulating the materials for specific functions.

Dr. S Sree Lakshmi spoke on “Career Opportunities” for UG & PG students of chemistry.  She also stressed the upcoming fields like patent laws, regulatory affairs and scientific writing apart from regular teaching, research and working in R&D institutions. 

In the afternoon session, a Quiz program was conducted. The event was designed to encourage and give them an opportunity for graduate students to prepare job interviews for their future career. Inter college competition saw six teams (two  from each college) from various colleges competing with one another to take the honours.

The quiz generated a great excitement amongst students of different colleges.  Dr. V Jayathirtha Rao acted as a quiz master.

The event was attended by over 200 students (mainly ladies) and faculty members from various colleges in the area.

RSC-DS honoured the guest speakers and gave prizes to winners and distributed to the quiz participants.
Dr. SAr. Sarguna , Prinicipal, Holy cross college proposed a vote of thanks.

Poster Symposium details
National Poster Symposium

A poster symposium for senior PhD students was held on 21st December 2013 at Krishna University, AP, India.

Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Jan 10, 2014 9:49 AM GMT
Sheffield ChemSoc fireworks lecture banner
Gummy bears (c) Shutterstock
A packed out lecture theatre enjoyed a thrilling evening of loud bangs and bright colours as Dr Peter Portius and his research group entertained with their fireworks lecture. Combining fascinating chemistry with vivid displays ensured that it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for all who attended.
Read on for some amazing photos, and to find out what happened to the gummy bear...
Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Dec 17, 2013 11:20 AM GMT
In this month’s “Fun with Science” session at Bowen School Shibalidian, organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry Beijing Local Section and MCF with the help of volunteers from Beijing University of Chemical Technology and the Royal Society of Chemistry Beijing Office, the topic was food. We discussed why fruit and vegetables (being packed with vitamins—especially vitamin C—and fibre) are healthier than high fat/high sugar foods like biscuits and cakes—although the students did admit they enjoyed eating the latter as well! But how do we know how much vitamin C is present in different fruits and vegetables? Take tomatoes, sweet red peppers and apples: can you guess which contains the most vitamin C? In “Fun with Science” we didn’t have to guess—we used chemistry to find out!
Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Dec 10, 2013 10:47 AM GMT
Deccan - photograph from the chemistry in drug discovery seminarSeminar on the "Role of Chemistry in Drug Discovery" (RCDD) – 6th July 2013

A conference on the "Role of Chemistry in Drug Discovery" was jointly conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry (Deccan Section - DS) and Krishna University at Vijayawada.
Over 800 Masters and Bachelors degree students participated, with a number of students from other parts of India.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Arun Kumar Sharma, Penn.State, Univ., Medical School, highlighted the role of selenium in cancer therapy. Other speakers included Prof. V. Peesapati, Secretary, Royal Society of Chemistry - DS, chairman of the seminar, also NIPER-Hyderabad; Prof. M V Basaveswara Rao, Convener of the RCDD; Prof C V Chalapathi Rao, Osmania Univ.-Hyderabad and Prof. V.Jayathirtha Rao, Head CPC Division, IICT-Hyderabad.
Topics ranged from “the Pharmaceutical Value of Heterocyclic Chemistry”, to “combinatorial chemistry and its importance in Drug Discovery” and “the increasing importance of chiral drugs”. Information on the courses and programs run by the Krishna University was also given.
In addition to lectures, a poster competition took place and prizes were presented to four winners.
The program was sponsored by PVS Labs Ltd. Andhra Bank, Vijayawada, Krishna University and RSC-Deccan Section.
Seminar, Quiz and Demo in Chemistry Program for School students - July 2013
Deccan Demo in Chemistry Program for School students - July 2013
RSC-Deccan Section organized a seminar, quiz and demonstration on Chemistry for school children in collaboration with Model High School Alumni Association of Osmania University (OU) at Model High School, Hyderabad.

The day began with lectures by Dr. C Chalapathi Rao, Retd. Chemistry Professor, O U; Dr. Ch Krishnakumari, Retd. Reader, Singareni Women’s College; Prof. V Peesapati, Secretary, RSC-DS and Dr. V. Jayathirtha Rao, Director Gr. Scientist, IICT.
These were on “Why study chemistry”, the importance of Chemistry in our day to day life, the hazards of smoking and the role of chemistry not only academia but also in the drug and chemical industry.

A fun demonstration followed, featuring: a volcanic eruption, extraction and separation of vitamin A from spinach, red cabbage extract used as an  indicator, boiling an egg in cold water and exothermic reactions,(burning paper without fire) and more. Students were thrilled and enjoyed seeing all these live experiments and how chemicals are fascinating.

A quiz was run in the afternoon for 9th and 10th class students. 12 students from six schools participated in the completion and Vedic Vidyalaya High School won the first prize. All the participants in the quiz program received certificates and scientific books from RSC-DS.
One day conference “Inspiration through chemistry” for postgraduate students – September 2013 

RSC-DS organized a seminar, quiz and poster session for PG students in association with Annie Besant Women and Srinidhi UG & PG Colleges, Hyderabad.

The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. M S Reddy, Registrar, Osmania university. Prof. Peesapati, Secretary RSC-DS, welcomed the delegates and summarised RSC-DS activities in 2013. Dr Richard Porte, RSC-Cambridge explained the structure of the RSC and its role for the advancement of the chemical sciences not only in the UK but also globally through this kind of work-shop, conferences and encouraging Indian scientists to write projects in collaboration with UK universities.

The morning session started with invited lectures on “An introduction to nanomaterials” and “Why chiral drugs are so important” by Prof. M Vithal and Prof. V Peesapati respectively. This was followed by a quiz competition for MSc chemistry students from six different colleges. A lecture on “Luminescence and applications” by Dr Rao began the afternoon, after which 24 students took part in a poster display and competition. Over 200 students attended the conference.

Elocution and Chemistry Quiz program - September 2013

The Royal Society of Chemistry – Deccan Section organised an Elocution and Chemistry Quiz program in association with Chaitanya PG & UG College Warangal. This included a guest lecture on “Green Chemistry”by , Dr. Y. V. D. Nageswar, Chief Scientist, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology.

11 teams took part in the elocution competition, which was on the theme of “Enzyme Catalysis and Applications”, and 15 teams of students from the local colleges of Warangal district town participated in the quiz. Over 200 students were involved in the day.

Guest lecture by Prof U N Das, USA on “Is type 2 diabetes mellitus a disorder of the brain?” - September 2013                                  

Prof. U N Das, UND Life Sciences, USA, delivered a guest lecture at Birla Institute of Technology and science (BITS), Hyderabad campus, for Research staff and students of the Institute. He spoke about the changes in peptide levels in the hypothalamus and changes in gastrointestinal hormone levels, and answered many of the research students’ and staff’s questions.
Deccan - photograph of Dr DasGuest lecture by Prof. Undurti N Das, MD, FAMS, FRSC:  “Lipids as potential anti-cancer drugs” - October 2013

Prof Das lectured on his current area of research to around 100 scientists from industry and academia. He explained that certain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) show selective tumouricidal action without harming normal cells in vitro and in vivo. PUFAs not only kill tumor cells selectively, but are also able to protect normal cells and bone marrow cells from the cytotoxic and genotoxic action of radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs.

Research in this area implies that unsaturated fatty acids could be used to enhance the anti-cancer action of chemotherapeutic drugs and reverse tumour cell drug resistance.

Mr. Raghu Iyer, Vice-President, Vivimed Labs proposed a vote of thanks, and the DS secretary honoured the speaker by presenting a memento.
Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Nov 28, 2013 11:19 AM GMT
Photograph of Shashi at the cyclodextrin conferenceShashi Ravi Suman Rudrangi, MRSC,  a second year PhD student (Pharmaceutical Science) at the Medway Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Greenwich, has been awarded a ‘PhD Research Travel Grant' from the Organic Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry to attend and present a poster entitled 'Solid state Econazole-Cyclodextrin complexes prepared by Supercritical carbon dioxide processing’, at the '3rd European Conference on Cyclodextrins', which was held at Antalya, Turkey between 2-4 October, 2013. more...
Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Nov 18, 2013 1:18 PM GMT
Posted by Jenifer Mizen on Oct 9, 2013 4:01 PM BST
On the 8th and 9th of July, a R&D symposium, sponsored by the RSC and Procter & Gamble, was held in Lagos, Nigeria, covering the topics of regulatory harmonisation, hygiene and sustainability. The two day conference included a trip to the University of Lagos, where a collaboration laboratory was announced between P&G and the university. P&G will be sponsoring a select number of African students to carry out 6-month internships in Lagos, encouraging industry collaboration and local scientific innovation in Africa. The meeting also prompted RSC representatives in Nigeria to initiate the process of setting up two local sections in the country.  

A picture of all RSC members present at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. 
For more information on the conference, please visit www.rsc.li/pacn-nigeria-2013.

Posted by Emily James on Aug 14, 2013 8:59 AM BST
As part of the pearl jubilee celebration of K.E.T.S V.G., Vaze College of Arts, Science Commerce, Mumba, in association with RSC WIS and CRSI ( Mumbai local chapter), organized a two day lecture PG series on the topic of 'Pericyclic reactions' on 26th and 27th of July 2103. 161 participants, including 7 teachers, from 28 colleges in and around Mumbai benefited from the lectures and discussions.

The speakers were Prof. K.P.Kaliappan & Dr. Santosh Gharpure, faculty from the department of Chemistry, IIT, Mumbai. The lecture series started with a very brief inauguration by Dr. Panse, the Head of the Chemistry department. Dr. Abhijit Roy Chowdhary, RSC WIS officiate, spoke in brief about the activities of RSC WIS and also mentioned about the opportunities and benefits available for student members of RSC.

The topics in the two day lecture series covered included introduction to pericyclic reactions and molecular orbitals, electrocyclic reactions, introduction to cycloaddition and Diels Alder reactions,1,3 dipolar cycloadditions, [2+2] cycloaddition and sigmatropic rearrangements. The feedback has been extremely positive and the students benefited a lot from the lectures and the discussions that followed. Students have requested that more such lectures be organised in future on various topics.
Posted by Emily James on Aug 9, 2013 2:50 PM BST
 Southampton University ChemSoc invited David Alker to deliver a series of careers-related talks for undergraduate and postgraduate students on the 9th and 10th of May, 2012. The undergraduate talks covered the topics of careers and workplace awareness. David stayed back after the talks to discuss further questions from the attendees over refreshments.
The talks were well received and some of the attendees made the following comments about the event:

I attended (and helped organise) both the talks aimed at Undergraduate students. I really enjoyed the contents of both the talks and really appreciated how they were quite distinct separate events, yet were both highly informative. The Careers Talk gave us not just a glimpse of the choices available, but actually made a lot of the attendees think about how Chemistry is so important in so many different ways in people’s lives. The Workplace Awareness talk was more about what is expected of an Undergraduate/ recent graduate at a workplace, be it your first job or an internship or a placement in a research lab or industry. However, whatever the name suggests, Dave did not just preach us on ‘how to behave’, it was quite an interactive and humorous session, with him taking in input from us as well. I would be glad to participate in more of such events, given how it engages students and at times, keeps some disenchanted students from disengaging from their course and helps them change their views about how Chemistry affects lives. -Ishani Bhattacharya, Undergraduate student (2nd Year, 2011/12)


I attended the Workplace Awareness Talk for Undergraduates and it was a very good decision to do so, as I think it was quite informative and helpful when it comes to preparing for my Fourth Year placement.
-Hamid Khan, Undergraduate student (2nd Year, 2011/12)


The event was certainly aimed at PhD students rather than Masters or Undergraduate students. There was quite a lot of background information about the current economic climate (CEC) and what that means for employment opportunities. David also went through what someone with a PhD has to offer and, therefore, how a PhD should make someone employable, despite the CEC. There was a list of potential careers (very broad) and he mentioned facts like only 10 % of PhDs stay in academia. The talk was more about giving us an overview than specific careers ideas: he got us to think about the opportunities a PhD gives, rather than suggesting that it means doing chemistry forever. In my experience of a PhD (and I think some of my group members would agree), it can seem like by doing a PhD you have committed yourself to a lifetime of either academia or industry directly related to the PhD, when, in fact, a PhD should be opening rather than closing doors. This is what the talk was about.
-Mary Cholerton, PhD student   

Posted by Emily James on Jul 19, 2013 4:30 PM BST
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