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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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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

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
The 27th Young Scientist Symposium was held at Bangor University, September 18th 2012. With 47 delegates in attendance the symposium is a great opportunity for scientists from Bangor and Glyndwr Universities, at the early stages of their career, to present their work, as well as network and share information and knowledge. A great varied programme was presented, both in the oral and poster presentations.

A well structured and clearly presented winning oral presentation was given by Mark Pitts. Mark is a third year student at Bangor University, conducting research under the supervision of Prof M Baird. His talk was entitled “Towards the Detection of TB”.  In second place was a presentation on the “Synthesis and Testing of New Dyes for Dye Sensitised Solar Cells” by Moneer Mohsen. James Maskery was awarded third place in the competition for his presentation on “When is a Hydrogen Bond a Hydrogen Bond?”.
Oral Presentation Prize Giving (L to R): Moneer Mohsen, James Maskery and Mark Pitts and Dr Malcolm Jones (RSC North Wales Section)
Two industrial speakers gave plenary talks during the day. Dr James Timmis, a Bangor graduate, currently works for Liquid Research Ltd and spoke about the properties, uses and potential of magnetic liquids. Dr Anna Codina from Bruker  UK Ltd explained how reactions could be monitered using different techniques during process development, and how this could contribute to understanding the processes involved.
A high number of poster presentations made judging particularly difficult this year. Prizes for the best poster presentations with analytical chemistry as their main theme or underpinning the research presented (sponsored by the RSC North West Analytical Division) were awarded to:

  • Lingyu Han, Glyndwr University – “Extensional Rheometry and Dynamic Light Scattering of Telechelic Associating Polymer Solutions” (1st);
  • Mark Long, Bangor University - “Towards a Synthesis of a Neuroactive Polybioside from the Social Wasp Polybia paulista”(2nd);
  • and Ben Butler Bangor University – “Enhancing the Quantitative Capacity of MALDI-TOF MS” (3rd).
Poster Presentation Prize Giving (L to R): Mark Long, Dr Vera Thoss (RSC North West Analytical Division) Lingyu Han and Dr Lorrie Murphy (accepting on behalf of Ben Butler)
Before the winners were announced, the North Wales Local Section held a special award ceremony to show their appreciation to two extremely valued long serving members of the committee. Dr Andrew Nichol, and Dr Peter Lloyd were presented with a certificate and commemorative plate in recognition of their hard work over the years. Their committment to the section has been second to none, and the committee express their thanks to both. May we wish them the best in their retirement from the committee!
RSC North Wales Section Special Presentation (L to R): Dr Erica Roberts (Chair RSC North Wales Section), Dr Malcolm Jones (RSC North Wales Section), Dr Andrew Nichol (Left Panel) and Dr Peter Lloyd (Right Panel)
Our thanks to the sponsors; the North West Analytical Division, Liquids Research Ltd, and also the North West Trust whom kindly sponsor this event annually. Thanks also go to the judging panel, Dr Malcolm Jones, Dr Peter Lloyd, Dr Andrew Nichol, and Dr Vera Thoss. Last but not least, thanks go to Dr Lorrie Murphy for her help with organising the event this year, Dr Jesus Cirre (Glyndwr University) as well as all the staff behind the scenes at Bangor University.

- Dr Erica Roberts (Chair RSC North Wales Section)

Posted by Emily James on Jul 16, 2013 3:47 PM BST
Fresher's Cocktail Party (Sept 2012)
Bangor’s third annual fresher's cocktail party was held to end a busy Welcome Week for new undergraduate students.  The fresher’s and peer guides only event was held to give an insight into Bangor’s usual ChemSoc cocktail parties, as well as it being a final party where the students could mingle together with their course mates before beginning their courses.  The event was a success, with the majority of the new undergraduates signing up for membership to ChemSoc.

Charity Cocktail Party in aid of SOS Africa (Oct 2012)
Bangor’s ChemSoc held a charity cocktail party, on behalf of Dr Mathew Davies, to help raise money for SOS Africa. Dr Mathew Davies had been fundraising all year on behalf of SOS Africa through various events, from running marathons to showing and allowing photos with his Olympic torch.  SOS Africa is a small, non-profit, African children's charity, which funds the care and education of underprivileged African children. Bangor felt it was a worthy cause and were very pleased to say that they helped to raise over £230 towards the fundraising goal. 

Dr Mathew Davies (in blue), shown to the left, with Dr Peter Holliman's research group at the SOS Africa cocktail party.

Christmas Dinner (Dec 2012)
This year's formal Christmas Dinner was held at Meifod Country House Hotel, Bontnewydd.  There was plenty of drinking, eating and being merry to be had and some even braved a go (or two!) on the rodeo bull!  A fun-filled evening, it was the perfect way to end the semester.

Left - One of Bangor's first year undergraduates having a go on the rodeo bull!

Trip to Fun Centre, Caernarfon (Feb 2013)
A trip to the Fun Centre, Caernarfon was held in February.  This is a children’s indoor play area, which opens in the evenings to accommodate adults.  The event was well-attended and plenty of fun was had.

RSC-sponsored Trip to Wylfa Nuclear Power Station (March 2013)
The RSC very kindly sponsored Bangor ChemSoc to attend an industrial trip to Wylfa Nuclear Power Station.  A group of approx. 50 students attended the afternoon event, with a lecture given by Mr Andrew Taylor, Head of Project Delivery Organisation at the Magnox' Wylfa Site. The lecture was interesting, informative, and sparked debate amongst the students present.  Mr Taylor's lecture gave participants an insight into the nuclear industry-reactor types, waste management, future of nuclear industry, and the roles at the site. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and the large number of attendees, Bangor were unable to have a tour of the site or the visitor's centre and so hope to rearrange a return trip in the near future to spend more time to look around.

End of year cocktail party (April 2013)
The end of year cocktail party was held in April. It was well attended, especially by final year undergraduates who had a presentation of "fun degree awards" as voted by their peers, with awards ranging from "most likely to win a Nobel Prize" to "best dressed male/female".

Change of committee
The Bangor University ChemSoc has also changed its committee over this academic year-with an expansion in committee members, including undergraduate students from each year group.  Bangor hopes to be able to plan and deliver more events during the next academic year, with plans already in place for Welcome Week 2013.
Posted by Emily James on Jul 16, 2013 1:58 PM BST
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