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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Early Career Research and Teaching Fellow Conference

With support from the Mid-Southern Counties Local Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry, we held the first annual Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences Early Career Research and Teaching Fellow Conference on Tuesday 3rd June, at the NOC in Southampton. The conference was an opportunity to hear about the wide ranging science being carried out in the faculty and to implement the principles of the concordat and recognise and support the work of the early career members of the faculty. The conference was a great success with a series of high quality talks and a vibrant poster session.

There was good interest in the RSC stand, particularly from the many scientists not directly associated with the chemistry department. One thing that became clear throughout the day is the large amount of synthetic and analytical chemistry used in the research in both the centre for biological sciences and ocean and earth sciences. These are therefore centres of highly trained chemical scientists that may not be exposed to the benefits of the RSC to the same extent as those in Chemistry.

The day was attended by 91 people (predominantly post-doctoral researchers) and contained some excellent and diverse talks and posters from the research and teaching fellows from across the faculty. In total there were 13 contributed talks, 2 keynote talks and 31 posters. The conference is due to be an annual event so this will hopefully grow in the coming years as it becomes a feature of the faculty calendar. Thanks to the kind contributions of the conference sponsors we were able to award prizes to the top 3 talks and poster of the day. The winners are as follows:


1st – Alex Beaton (Ocean and Earth Sciences) - £150
2nd – Christopher Pearce (Ocean and Earth Sciences) - £125
3rd – Douglas Offin (Chemistry) - £100

Poster Presentation:

1st – Samuel Genheden (Chemistry) - £100
2nd – Pooja Khurana (Biological Sciences) - £75
3rd – Adrian Nightingale (National Oceanographic Centre)- £50

The money kindly donated by the RSC (along with contributions from the Biochemical Society, The Challenger Society, Starlab and Bioline) went towards the prizes and towards the wine reception and networking event at the end of the day.

Report by Russell Minns

Posted by Stephen McCarthy on Jun 13, 2014 9:08 AM BST

Pharmaceutical Talent Quiz

The Royal Society of Chemistry Deccan Section in association with School of Pharmacy, Anurag Group of Institutions (AGI), Hyderabad, held an Inter-College Quiz competition for pharmacy students on 29th March, 2014.

The event was designed to encourage and build confidence in pharmacy students to exhibit their communication skills and basic knowledge necessary to face job interviews for their future career. The questions were framed in such a way as if they were facing a mock interview for placements in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Inter-college quiz competition saw 22 teams (of two members each) from various pharmacy colleges, all competing with one another to take the honours.  After initial screening, six teams were selected for the final quiz competition.

The quiz was on three specialised fields such as pharmaceutics, pharmacology and pharmaceutical analysis.  After three rounds of questions based on the areas mentioned above, spread over 1hour and 30 minutes, three top teams were selected for prizes on the basis of their overall score.

Two hundred students and staff attended the quiz programme. In order to allow the audience to participate, we asked a few questions on the final round involving the audience and gave away pens (with the RSC logo) and chocolates to the students who answered correctly.

Cash prices, GK books and certificates were given to winners and runners-up.  Books and certificates were given to other participants.

Prof Peesapati, Dr V. Jayathirths Rao and Mr. Samm conducted this special event with the support of Dr P. V. Diwan, Director, School of Pharmacy, AGI, Hyderabad.

Report by Prof Peesapati

Posted by Stephen McCarthy on Jun 3, 2014 4:28 PM BST
International Women's Day event from Deccan Local Section

The Deccan Section has conducted a Quiz program and games for women at Nagarjuna Nagar community hall, Tarnaka, Hyderabad on 8th March 2014 to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Mrs Lakshmi Peesapati invited the participants and explained the activities of the RSC and the important role of women in the overall well being of the family. She conducted the quiz program on  “Food, Nutrition and home remedies” based on natural products. This was followed by indoor games.

The event was attended by both housewives and working women (around 38 in number) from different areas, who gave good responses and appreciated the Deccan Section for conducting this kind of event for women.

Two teams were selected for 1st and 2nd prizes. The Deccan Section gave away prizes to the winners and runners-up. All the participants were given a small gift as a token of appreciation for participating in the event. The program ended with a lunch (without oil and spices) prepared by them to create awareness of the healthy food for all.

Mrs. Lakshmi Peesapati conducted the event with the help of Mrs. Shobha, Mrs. Rama Lakshmi. Some pictures of the event can be seen below.

Prof. V. Peesapati

Posted by Stephen McCarthy on May 14, 2014 10:36 AM BST

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 9:37 AM BST

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
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