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.

Looking back at 2019 and where we go from here

Last month the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry was held online on Wednesday 8 July with 400 members in attendance.
During the AGM, we shared a video highlighting some of the successes of 2019 and Tom Welton, our incoming President, thanked you, our volunteers, for all of the incredible work you do. In 2019 you organised over 600 events catering to more than 45,000 members of the chemical sciences community, amplifying our reach and impact around the world.

The pandemic has changed how we engage with members, in some ways for the better.
Many of you have had to cancel or postpone physical events in 2020, but it has been inspiring to see how many of you have found alternative ways to engage with your community.

Since lockdown began, RSC member networks have held nearly 80 online events with a further 50 planned for the rest of the year. This includes 40 committee meetings using the Networks Meetings GoToMeeting account, and 31 events using the GoToWebinar account that have reached almost 4000 people from over 40 countries. Several Interest Groups have set up highly successful regular online seminar series with international speakers and audiences that would not have been possible as physical events.

Some highlights include:
  • A Surface Coatings Group webinar in April looked at anti-viral surfaces and their use in tackling Covid-19, sparking intense and ongoing collaborative online discussion.
  • In the height of lockdown our Italian Local Section hosted their 2020 General Assembly online to safely engage with members across the country.
  • Both MSILDG and CISG found that hosting their AGMs online let them engage with a wider international community than previous physical events.
  • The Downland Local Section Lockdown Lectures are a great blend of social and scientific events with two short talks with questions and discussion using GoToMeeting over lunchtime.
  • The recent Porous Materials Group Twitter Conference (#RSCPMGPoster) saw entries from 31 countries and thousands of posts and interactions during the 48 hour event.
  • The Colloids & Interface Science Group organised a flash presentation symposium with “enhanced posters” and audience participation to award prizes.
What are the next steps?
Many groups have seen the benefits of hosting online events and will be continuing their online events beyond the current climate. We are working with some of these groups to create tailored training resources for online event organisers. These will be announced in the Newsletter and by email.

If your committee would like to know more about developing, planning and hosting online events, please take a look at our new Frequently Asked Questions document. This and other helpful guides can be found on the Useful Forms & Documents page

Posted by Aurora Walshe on Aug 3, 2020 2:00 PM Europe/London

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