Search Blogs

My Draft Blog Posts

  • Changes to the Annual Report (Draft)
    online form inclusion and diversity welcome any feedback thank you for your cooperation more...
These monthly newsletters aim to keep all member networks updated with news describing how to get involved, as well as information of relevant events, services and new initiatives from the RSC Networks team. If you require further information about any of the items in the newsletter, or have any comments or ideas for content please contact the Networks team.

Committee members and representatives are encouraged to disseminate this information, as appropriate, to colleagues and other members. E-alert request forms can be downloaded from the Useful Forms and Documents page. Up to date lists of members can be obtained by emailing the Networks Team.
 

Share this |

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linked More...

Latest Posts

Archive for June, 2020
This month Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, discusses the difference between objectives and outputs when planning outreach and public engagement activities. What do you want to achieve? How do you think you can do it? Share your thoughts with Hassun via email at zafarh@rsc.org or on Twitter @HassunElZafar.


We’ve now lost track of our time in lockdown. But as I sit at my newly made workspace at home, facing directly into our front room window, it’s time to write another blog article.

Over the last months we’ve been relooking at how we do public engagement, what we want to achieve and how we can achieve this within the time, resources and new normal we find ourselves. It is indeed a strange time, but also one that demands creativity, imagination and ideas, and requires us to not just think outside the box, but to make a whole new box, or to throw the box away and be radical, brave and bold.

Public engagement thrives when boundary-pushing ideas give audiences experiences that are memorable, enjoyable and/or empowering. I recently did a masterclass with Aaron Sorkin on story ideas, and I think some of it is applicable for this blog. Sorkin states that there’re two parts to having an idea, the first is knowing what an idea is. Something as broad as “chemistry of food” isn’t an idea, but a concept. It’s helpful in giving a sense of direction, but it’s not an idea yet.

Something like “chemistry of food” becomes an engagement idea when we start thinking of the objectives that we want to achieve and the outputs that we use to do to help us achieve this.

This brings me to the purpose of this article: to talk all matters outputs and outcomes – what they are, how they often blur into each other and how effective public engagement can make the most of them being clearly defined and differentiated.

I like to think of objectives in the same frame as what organisations call “visions”. The objective is the purpose behind the project, the reasons why it needs to be done and the motivation for why people should get involved. On the other hand, outcomes are what those same organisations would call “working plans”: what you’re going to set out to do and the mechanisms through which your objectives will be met.

I understand why the two can get confused, from experience it is usually due to one of the two being defined very weakly. Successful organisations have bold objectives, for example, Nike’s objective, even in its early days was never simply to sell running shoes, but rather Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike) wanted to make ordinary people feel like Olympic winning athletes. It sounds impossible, but it’s that vision that propelled Nike into being a world-renowned sports brand. The selling of shoes, signing of sponsorship deals (e.g. Air Jordans) and expansion into attire were all outputs in achieving that one objective.

Let’s go back to the “chemistry of food” idea:

You want people to engage with the Chemistry of Food… Why?
Because I live in a food desert filled with liquor stores, fast food restaurants and vacant lots. The obesity rate is five times what it is in a more affluent area just eight miles away.

I’m hooked, you got a plan?
To install a vegetable garden on the strip between the footpath and the street that the city owns but the resident has to maintain.

Ok, but how’s that going to address the problem?
The garden becomes a tool for the education, a tool for the transformation of my neighbourhood. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries.

Sounds great, and strawberries too? Sold!

Now, I’ve obviously simplified this. But this is actually a real idea by Ron Finley, AKA the Gangster Gardener from South Central LA; his brilliant TED talk can be seen here.

Ron’s objective was to make his community understand the importance of healthy eating and the value of food production. His outputs included changing old green sidewalk grass areas into fruit and vegetable gardens, abandoned car lots into gardening schools, old trailers into farm markets, and much more.

Note, each output fits into being a mechanism into achieving the overarching objective, which is his source of motivation, the reason why he started his project and continues to pursue it every day.

What I love is that he thought outside the box, started small, learnt more about his audience and continued to build ways to better and better engage his community. His project still runs today and he’s become a community and global role model (and he didn’t even need a camera to do it).

So on your next outreach project, think about your motivation and be bold and aspirational like Ron. I think the world needs creative engagement projects like his more than ever.



This is our fourth blog article from Hassun, you can read the others in the series here:
  1. Know Your Audience 
  2. Co-Create, Co-Create, Co-Create
  3. What now?


 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jul 1, 2020 11:00 AM BST
Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the July Networks Newsletter, our way to keep our member network committee members and representatives up to date with RSC activities, services and new initiatives.

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Outputs ≠ Outcomes
  • Communications from across the RSC
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
01 July
07 July
09 July
13 July
28 July
30 July
31 July

10 August
Deadline for Local Section and Interest Group Top-Up Fund applications
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 July to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 July
July deadline for Outreach Fund small grants
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6 August to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 6 August
Deadline for Local Section inserts into September Chemistry World issue
August deadline for Outreach Fund small grants
 
Upcoming Events
 
02 July
10 July
16 July
06 August

20 August
29-30 September
Member e-alerts
Effective communication with Journal editors (8am BST / 4pm JST)
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
Member e-alerts
Chemical Science Symposium 2020 - now being held online
 
Spotlight: Public engagement – Outputs ≠ Outcomes

What do you want to achieve? How do you think you can do it?

This month Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, discusses the difference between objectives and outputs when planning outreach and public engagement activities.

Read the full article on the Networks Newsletter blog, and if you have any questions or suggestions for public engagement activities please let Hassun know!

Read the full article

 
Communications from across the RSC

Here are updates about events and activities from our Outreach, Careers, Events, International, and Research & Innovation teams, as well as the Chemists’ Community Fund and RSC Publishing.

Volunteer recognition award winners announced
The 2020 Prizes and Awards winners were announced last week, and we would like to congratulate all of the volunteer recognition award winners!

Award for Exceptional Service
  • David Evans
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through the activities of our inorganic and biochemical member-led communities.
  • William Griffith
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through our Historical Group and for advising on activities celebrating the history of the chemical sciences.
  • John Hepworth
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through our Local Sections, governance committees and Board of Trustees.
  • Jackie Morton
    For outstanding service to the Royal Society of Chemistry through the activities of the Sheffield and District Local Section and the Atomic Spectroscopy Group.
Inspirational Committee Award Inspirational Member Award
  • John Dean
    For dedication to the planning, coordination and ongoing development of the Schools Analyst Competition.
  • Amanda Hardy
    For her dedication to the diversification of the committee and programmes of the Chilterns and Middlesex Local Section.
  • Steve Lancaster
    For dedication to the development of an analytical chemistry training programme in Africa.
  • Gemma Scotney
    For dedication to expanding the public engagement activities of the Kent Local Section.

We will be sharing more information about these great projects later in the year.

Explore the 2020 Prizes and Award winners gallery here


Celebrating the Analytical Division Award Winners
The 2020 Analytical Division Award winners have been announced and congratulations to the following:
  • Anne Bennett Memorial Award for Distinguished Service:
    Dr Mike Foulkes (University of Plymouth) for long-standing service to the RSC Analytical Division and the sustained promotion of analytical chemistry, particularly atomic spectroscopy.
  • Industrial Analytical Science Award:
    Dr Alex Shard (National Physical Laboratory) for pioneering accurate chemical measurements of surfaces and interfaces.
  • Joseph Black Award:
    Dr Anna Regoutz (University College London) for outstanding contributions to the development and application of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in the area of electronic materials and devices.
  • Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science:
    Professor Kourosh Kalanter-Zadeh (University of New South Wales) for the development of commercialised ingestible sensors for gut disorders, gas sensors for pollutants and point-of-care biosensors.
  • Ronald Belcher Award:
    Ms Hayley Simon (University College London) for outstanding and innovative research on the conservation of Mary Rose iron cannonballs, which has produced unique insights to the field of conservation.
  • Theophilus Redwood Award:
    Professor Richard Brown (National Physical Laboratory) for excellence in theoretical and practical aspects of chemical measurement leading to the recent redefinition of the mole, and communication of these changes.

Find out more about our 2020 Prizes and Awards winners here


Help shape the next phase of our Division Review
You will be aware from previous communications that we are currently undertaking a review of our Divisions to ensure there is clarity over the function and purpose of the Divisions and to achieve their full potential. The main objectives of the Review are:
  • To define the purpose and function of the Divisions
  • To define the relationship between Divisions, interest groups and other RSC groups
  • To ensure staff fully understand the purpose and potential of divisions and can support them effectively
  • To review effectiveness of member engagement with the Divisions
  • To review the management of any financial responsibilities held within the Divisions
We will be inviting input from all members from 10 July, and we would like to encourage you, as our most engaged and active members, to tell us what you think - this is your opportunity to shape our recommendations for the Divisions and define the relationship between Divisions, Interest Groups and other RSC groups.

Please contact secretariat@rsc.org if you have any queries about the survey.

Have your say: Complete our survey between 10 and 17 July


Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants
We are pleased to share with you that in light of feedback we have received we have been able to extend the purpose of our Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants schemes to include:
  • Extra equipment that may be needed to work from home and/or home-school those you care for (maximum £500 total cost).
  • Specific assistance or support needed to attend an online meeting, conference, workshop, professional development or teaching responsibility as restrictions ease.
Eligibility criteria continue to be available on the funding webpages.


Additional redundancy support available for members
If you or your members are being affected by redundancy we offer a number of resources designed to help you navigate this challenging time

This includes our redundancy support page, which summarises how we can support you through 1:1 career consultations via phone or Zoom, a recorded webinar outlining practical information and advice and financial support via the Chemist’s Community Fund.

If you are being affected by redundancy then we'd encourage you to contact the Careers team via email (careers@rsc.org). They have significant experience in supporting members through career transitions.


 
Thank you for reading!

A tailored version of this Newsletter is sent to all member network committee members and International Representatives. Please get in touch with suggestions for what you would like included or feedback about what we've sent you!

Send us your feedback

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie

 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jul 1, 2020 11:00 AM BST
The current environment has seen a dramatic shift in the public attitudes to science and scientists, and has shown the importance of science engagement programmes. Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, is wondering about the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on public engagement. Share your thoughts with Hassun via email at zafarh@rsc.org or on Twitter @HassunElZafar.


At 2am I wake up to have my pre-sunrise breakfast and prepare for my 16 hour-long fast for Ramadan. For billions of people across the globe Ramadan marks a time of community, solidarity and reflection. This year feels much stranger than any other; we are experiencing Ramadan under lockdown, which means family gatherings are not happening, evening meals with friends are cancelled, annual charity fundraising initiates cannot take place and community hubs like mosques across the world are closed.

One of the most remarkable things I’ve learned from this Ramadan is that despite the odds, the essence and spirit of Ramadan has been more alive than ever. My family have found creative ways of staying in touch with each other – most impressively, my Grandma learnt how to video call me every day without any assistance, a remarkable feat. Friends have taken it upon themselves to host weekly zoom quizzes, in which I’ve learned things about them I’d never known before. Local fundraisers and campaigners have started incredible local covid-19 community support groups, with numerous examples of community hubs becoming makeshift food banks, shelters and crisis alleviation centres.

Over the last few months some unprecedented (yep, I used that word…) things have taken place. The covid-19 pandemic has changed the public engagement landscape. That change is here, whether we like it or not. And just like Ramadan, an entire community needs to find new, creative and pioneering ways to keep the spirit and impact of public engagement activities alive.

Public engagement in science is now more important than ever, it is not mere coincidence that the communities most affected by the covid-19 pandemic globally are also the same communities that have been continually underserved and underrepresented within science engagement programmes. We must ask, what is the purpose of our public engagement if we cannot reach those who need it the most? What changes must we make to do this? How can we share practise across the sector?

Here at the Royal Society of Chemistry, we’ve already adapted our funding model to help organisations and individuals do exactly this. We created a rolling Outreach Fund application process and I’ll be curating a series of online webinars over the next few months to help share best practise and ideas across the sector. As ever, I’m always up for hearing your ideas of how public engagement can be done in our new circumstances to!

Stay safe and well, I’ll end this blog with a quote from my childhood reading of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, which I found incredibly fitting for the circumstances we find ourselves:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”




This is our third blog article from Hassun, you can read the others in the series here:
  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Co-Create, Co-Create, Co-Create
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jun 1, 2020 1:30 PM BST
Dear colleague,

Welcome to the June Networks Newsletter, our way to keep our member network committee members and representatives up to date with RSC activities, services and new initiatives.

This month’s Newsletter contains:
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Upcoming Events
  • Spotlight: Public engagement – What now?
  • Communications from across the RSC
 
Upcoming Deadlines
 
 09 June
11 June
12 June
15 June
23 June
25 June
01 July
07 July
09 July
13 July
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 June to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 18 June
Deadline for completing the member network diversity data form
June deadline for Outreach Fund small grants
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 2 July to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 2 July
Deadline for Local Section and Interest Group Top-Up Fund applications
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 July to additional networks
Deadline for E-alerts going out on 16 July
July deadline for Outreach Fund small grant
 
 
Upcoming Events
 
04 June
04 June
10 June
11 June
16 June

18 June
24 June
02 July
10 July
Member e-alerts
RSC ChemBio Desktop Seminar: Dr Russell Cox (12pm EST / 5pm BST)
School engagement training webinar (3pm-4pm BST)
OBC seminar and Meet the Editor (11:30am BST / 4pm IST)
School engagement training webinar (11am-12pm BST)

Member e-alerts
Announcement of RSC Prizes and Awards winners
Member e-alerts
Effective communication with Journal editors (8am BST / 4pm JST)
 
 
Spotlight: Public engagement – What now?

What does public engagement look like during a global pandemic?

This month Hassun El-Zafar, our Public Engagement Officer, talks to us about finding new, creative and pioneering ways to keep the spirit and impact of public engagement activities alive.

Read the full article on the Networks Newsletter blog, and if you have any questions or suggestions for virtual or online public engagement activities please let Hassun know!

Read Hassun’s blog article

 
Communications from across the RSC

Here are updates about events and activities from our Outreach, Careers, Events, International, and Research & Innovation teams, as well as the Chemists’ Community Fund and RSC Publishing.


Advice on events that you are hosting or planning for 2020
Last week Secretaries and Chairs received an email update on our plans and guidance in relation to UK office closures, events, and travel. This guidance reflects the most recent UK Government advice and responds to the queries and concerns we are hearing from our committee members and other volunteers, both within and outside the UK.

In line with current UK guidelines, we have cancelled all physical events until the end of August, and we would encourage all member networks to postpone or cancel physical events from 1 September to 31 December if they cannot be moved online, in line with the approach we have taken for all staff-led events and the closure of Burlington House.

Find out more on our Covid-19 support page


Updated Trust Deeds for member networks
Most of our committee Chairs should now have received the updated copies of the Trust Deed for your Local Section or Interest Group. The changes to the documents do not impact the purpose or operation of your committee or network. If your committee has not received a new document then we’re still working on it and will be in touch soon.

The review of RSC governance that took place a couple of years ago informed some changes to the By-laws resulting in a change in the numbering of all of the By-laws. The updated By-laws have been in place since the 2019 AGM. As the Trust Deeds refer to specific By-laws by number we needed to update them to ensure that the numbering was correct.



New e-alert templates for member networks
We are delighted to announce new e-alert templates for Local Section, Interest Group and AD Region e-alerts!

The Interest Group and Local Section templates have been designed to incorporate the new brand colours and will work with the social media avatars we shared with committees in May. The AD Region templates have been styled to coordinate with other Division communications.

We have created a new e-alert request form to work with the new templates. You can download it using the button below or find it and our updated "How to write an e-alert" guide on the Useful Forms and Documents page.

Download the new e-alert request form here


For information: Launch of a review of the RSC Divisions
In 2016 we undertook a Governance Review to ensure that our governance framework continued to be fit for purpose, and ensured the right level of support for strong stewardship and strategic planning for the future of the organisation.

The Review recommended that the role of Divisions be reviewed to provide clarity of function and ensure the full potential of the Divisions is achieved.

The Divisions Review will be managed by the governance office, with input from relevant internal staff via the establishment of a working group. An advisory group was formed in January 2020 to provide strategic guidance to staff throughout the review process. Group members are highly accomplished experts and leaders in our communities, able to offer high-quality, innovative advice and strategic thinking and evaluation.

The advisory group will work to meet the following objectives:
  • To define the purpose and function of the Divisions
  • To define the relationship between Divisions, Interest Groups and other RSC networks
  • To ensure staff fully understand the purpose and potential of divisions and can support them effectively
  • To review the effectiveness of member engagement with the Divisions
  • To review the management of any financial responsibilities held within the Divisions

A report will be prepared by the Division Review Advisory Group for the Member Communities Board, recommending opportunities for improvement, appropriate structural and operational changes and a timeframe for delivery. A survey will be performed later in the year to gather feedback on the current state of the Divisions.


Latest issue of Analytical Matters now available online
In the latest issue of Analytical Matters, the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division Newsletter you will find information on:
  • Division Council Elections
  • CPD Resources including the latest AMC Technical Briefs
  • Support for individuals, researchers, educators and businesses
  • A virtual Schools’ Analyst Competition

Read the latest issue of Analytical Matters here


Reminder – complete diversity data monitoring form by 12 June
The Royal Society of Chemistry is committed to improving inclusion and diversity in the chemical sciences. In order to provide a full and accurate analysis of our membership and activities, and to ensure we continue to provide the best possible offering to our community, we are improving our diversity data monitoring processes.

We kindly ask that you complete our diversity data monitoring form following the link below. The form is recommended by our Inclusion and Diversity Committee and aligns our diversity data collection with current best practices in order to collect robust and coherent diversity data. Collection of consistent diversity data will enable us to have a clear understanding of the diversity of our activities, allow us to publicly report collated and anonymised data, and provides evidence to underpin decision-making for future activities and actions.

The form has a maximum of 16 questions and should take less than 5 minutes to complete. We thank you for your time in providing your responses.


Complete the survey by 12 June


RSC Prizes and Awards – winner announcement coming soon
We’re announcing the winners of our 2020 Prizes and Awards on our website and on social media on Wednesday 24 June.

Visit www.rsc.org on the day to see a gallery of all our winners, and find out more on our individual profile pages – including photo galleries, a summary of their research, and a Q&A. Use the sharing buttons on the profile pages to celebrate your friends, family and colleagues by email and on social media.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels for videos and photos of our winners throughout the day. You can follow #RSCAwards on Twitter or visit our Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram pages.



Our Outreach Fund remains open and welcome to applications
Our Outreach Fund provides financial support to members, individuals and organisations in order to enable them to run chemistry-based public and schools engagement activities.

We recognise that during this period the nature of projects and delivery mechanisms may need to be revised and that individuals and organisations may choose to use this period to either reflect and evaluate current activity or develop new initiatives.

In response to this and the changing needs of the community we are have relaxed our restrictions to funding, in particular those costs associated with salary and freelancers fees. In addition, to lower barriers to funding we have increased the upper limit of the small grant scheme to £5,000 and are considering applications for small grants on a monthly basis, our next deadline is Monday 15 June. Visit our website for further details on applying during this period or get in touch with the team.

Learn more about eligibility criteria and restrictions on our website


The RSC Careers Team – here to help in uncertain times
Some of you may be anxious about job stability, dealing with your career being on hold, or facing a redundancy situation. The RSC Careers Team is available to talk to members about their work, your professional development, or simply coping with an uncertain professional future. We are offering one-to-one career consultations by phone or video conference to Associates, Members and Fellows, so visit the Events page to book, or email careers@rsc.org to ask a question.

Find out more about our services at www.rsc.org/careers, including these upcoming webinars:
17 June – ChemCareers: An Introduction to Patents: What, when and how?
07 July –  Joliot-Curie webinar: Presenting Your Research
09 July –  ChemCareers: How to work with a recruitment agency


Upcoming online events from RSC Publishing

RSC Desktop Seminar: Dr Russell Cox
Thursday 4 June 2020, 12:00 EST/ 17:00 BST

Hosted by RSC Chemical Biology, join Dr Russell Cox, as he presents "Platforms for the generation and high-throughput screening of cyclic peptide libraries".

Learn more about RSC Chemical Biology Desktop Seminars and register here

Meet the Editor Online: Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Thursday 11 June 2020, 11:30 BST / 16:00 IST

Join Professor Santanu Mukherjee, IISc – Bangalore, and Associate Editor of OBC, and Dr. Katie Lim, Executive Editor of OBC,  for a 2-part Meet the Editor Online webinar featuring key scientific and publishing insights into peer review.

Register to meet the OBC editors by 10 June

Meet the Editor Online: Effective communication with Journal editors
Friday 10 July 2020, 08:00 BST / 16:00 JST

Join Professor Shu Seki, Kyoto University & Associate Editor, Materials Chemistry Frontiers and Dr. Wenjun Liu, Royal Society of Chemistry, Executive Editor, Materials Chemistry Frontiers for a Meet the Editor Online webinar sharing practical guidance that can help you establish efficient and clear dialogues with your editors.

Register to meet the editors by 9 July

 
Thank you for reading!

This Newsletter has been tailored to you, but the full version can be found on the Networks Newsletter blog. Please read the online version and get in touch with suggestions for what you would like included or feedback about what we've sent you!

Send us your feedback

Kind regards,

The Networks Team
Fiona, Aurora and Debbie


 
Posted by Aurora Walshe on Jun 1, 2020 1:30 PM BST