Blogs | MyRSC
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:

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The RSC South Wales Local Section sponsored Dr Matthew Lloyd Davies of Bangor University, to take part in an outreach event in South Africa titled 'Catching the Light in the Rainbow Nation'. This ambitious project aimed to promote the understanding of chemistry to 1300 school children in just two weeks, through workshops themed around chemistry and light.

See more about what they did in the video below!

The event was run by a team of scientists from Bangor University, Swansea University, and the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.


Posted by Stephen McCarthy on Apr 15, 2014 8:37 AM GMT

The Bristol & District Section organised a competition inviting teams from local secondary schools to make a 5-minute DVD to explain to primary school pupils an aspect of chemical science. The subject chosen for 2013 was Fire and Flame”.

A first prize of £500 was available to the school whose product was deemed by a panel of judges as the best, with a certificate and £40 book token to each member of the small team that prepared the DVD. The only input from teaching staff permitted was supervision of safety. From the 15 schools who took an interest, the judges awarded the 2013 prize to St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School, Bristol.

Because of the theme of the competition, the RSC local Section asked Temple Fire Station Manager, Jan Morris of Avon Fire & Rescue, to present the prizes at the school on 14 February 2014 at the school’s morning assembly.

The photo shows the winning team members (L to R) Phoebe Ellis, Molly Pugh-Jones, Edward Powlesland, Natalie Britton, and Niamh McGlone with Colin Chapman, local section Chair, and Jan Morris, and Drs Beth Anderson (L) and Eric Albone (R), local section committee members involved in organising the competition.

Posted by Stephen McCarthy on Mar 20, 2014 9:39 AM GMT

We've had a busy few weeks in the East Midlands and I thought you might like some photos of what has been going on.

6 March - Undergraduate Practical Prize Winners presented with their awards at the AGM which was held at MediCity in Nottingham where the East Midlands Local Section successfully requested a Chemical Landmark Blue Plaque which was presented in November 2013.

L to R in photo: Chloe Simmons (University of Nottingham), Sarah Rose (University of Leicester), Maxwell Sharp (Loughborough University) and Dr Chris Satterley (East Midlands Local Section Chair)
14 March - The Modern Alchemist lecture at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. Two schools lectures in the afternoon and a very well attended public lecture in the evening.  Pete Wothers was fantastic and Prof Paul Cullis from the University of Leicester had worked exceptionally hard liaising with all the schools, the RSC and DMH.
15 March - 22 March - There are Molecule Hunts in Market Harborough, Hinckley, and Loughborough this week, so we have 3 currently running in the East Midlands! Here are some photos from independent shops in Market Harborough who are participating in the Molecule Hunt for National Science and Engineering Week. 
Vitamin C in Fruitas                                                 Aspirin in Mistrys Pharmacy 

Caffeine in the Kitchen Range shop
Sarah Hill, East Midlands Local Section

Posted by Stephen McCarthy on Mar 20, 2014 9:31 AM GMT

As a part of Science Day celebrations on 28th February 2014, the Royal Society of Chemistry Deccan Section, in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry, Mahatma Gandhi Univrsity (MGU), Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh, conducted a one day workshop for MSc chemistry students in the district level, away from Hyderabad city.

It was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor, Prof K. Narsimha Reddy.  After inauguration, Dr Y. V. D. Nageswar, Scientist , IICT gave a lecture on “Recent Research Advances in Nanocatalysis” . He was followed by a lecture on “Electro Organic Synthesis” by Prof K. S. Sastry, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

 After the lecture Prof V. Peesapati demonstrated some interesting experiments explaining to the students the importance of chemistry in day to day life.

Later an Elocution competition for inter college students was conducted on “The Role of Enzymes in Chemical Industry” in which 12 students gave their presentations. Prof Peesapati and Prof Sastry acted as judges and selected the winners of the elocution competitions.

In the afternoon session a Quiz program was conducted for chemistry post graduate students of different colleges by Dr V. Jayathirtha Rao, Scientist, IICT, Hyderabad.

The program was well attended by enthusiastic science students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) and teachers from different colleges in the Nalgonda district. Prizes were distributed to all the winners of elocution and quiz programs, and participation certificates were given to all. Guest speakers were honored by the Royal Society of Chemistry Deccan Section.


Posted by Stephen McCarthy on Mar 20, 2014 9:11 AM GMT
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
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