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Vol. 27 No. 4
July-August 2005

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

Chemical Sciences in Changing Times: Visions, Challenges, and Solutions

by Teodor Ast

The 4th International Conference of the Chemical Societies of the South-Eastern European Countries (ICOSECS-4) was held in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, from 18–21 July 2004 at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade. These conferences have become a biennial event: the first two were held in Halkidiki, Greece (1998 and 2000), and the third in Bucharest, Romania (2002).

ICOSECS-4 was organized by the Serbian Chemical Society on behalf of the Society of Albanian Chemists, Union of Chemists of Bulgaria, Pancyprian Union of Chemists, Association of Greek Chemists, Society of Chemists and Technologists of Macedonia, Chemical Society of Montenegro, and the Romanian Chemical Society.

The theme of the conference was “Chemical Sciences in Changing Times: Visions, Challenges and Solutions.” The conference featured contributions from all areas of chemistry. However, the main focus was reflected in three symposia:

  • Advanced Materials: From Fundamentals to Application
  • The Greening of Chemistry: Pursuit of a Healthy Environment and Safe Food
  • Teaching and Understanding Chemistry: New Concepts and Strategies for Changing Times (Dedicated to 150 years of teaching chemistry in Serbia)

The meeting was organized under the auspices of IUPAC, the Federation of European Chemical Societies (FECS), the Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection of Serbia, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The president of IUPAC, Leiv Sydnes, and the president of FECS, Gabor Naray-Szabo, attended the conference and addressed the participants.

Some 600 researchers from 26 countries took part in the conference. One of the reasons for such a large attendance was because organizers of these conferences (the chemical societies of South-East Europe) have declared a commitment to keeping the registration fees as low as possible.

The scientific program featured five plenary lectures:

  • John Fenn, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA, the 2002 Nobel Laureate, “Electrospray Wings for Molecular Elephants”
  • Peter Atkins, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, “Modern Trends in Chemical Education”
  • C.N.R. Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India, “New Directions in the Chemical Design of Materials”
  • Egon Matijevic, Clarkson University, Potsdam, USA, “Mechanisms of Formation of Uniform Fine Particles and Their Applications”
  • Ivano Bertini, University of Florence, Florence, Italy, “From Genomes to Cellular Mechanisms and Drug Design”

In addition to the plenary lectures, the program included 38 invited lectures and 25 oral and 437 poster presentations. Brief summaries of all contributions were published in a two-volume book of abstracts.

A rich social program included a welcome reception in the historic City Hall featuring a recital by the Simonuti Trio, a boat sightseeing tour of Belgrade, and a conference dinner with live music and dancing.

It was decided that the next conference, ICOSECS-5, will be organized by the Society of Chemists and Technologists of Macedonia in 2006.

Professor Teodor Ast <ast@tmf.bg.ac.yu> served as chairman of the International Scientific Committee of ICOSECS-4. He is the president of the Union of Yugoslav Chemical Societies.


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