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Date [ 2013-08-26, 18:25 ]

A celebration of the past, present and future of Chemistry in Asia.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Ramani Rathi = The 15 Asian Chemical Congress (15 ACC) makes its way back to Singapore after nearly three decades. The prestigious biennial event has been hosted across Asia since its inauguration in Singapore in 1985 and has been instrumental in bridging the links between major chemistry societies in the East and West. This year’s hallmark event featured many firsts which pay tribute to past and present scientific talent, and lays the foundation for nurturing future scientists.

With three Nobel Laureates in Chemistry , more than half a dozen heads of major regional and international chemistry societies, editors from leading chemistry-based journals and the participation of local junior college students, Singapore’s 15 ACC is set to be one of the most watched chemistry conferences this year. Some 1,600 scientists from across the globe will be joined by more than 100 Singapore students who will present their research projects to seasoned scientists during the conference organised by the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC). A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) lend support as co-organisers of the conference together with local universities and regional chemical societies.

The conference has been hosted over 14 times in countries around the Asian region and Australia. This year’s conference will focus on the driving force behind chemistry innovations – the research talents of the past, present and the future. The 15 ACC will feature for the first time, lectures by ‘Pioneers of Asia’, ‘Asian Rising Stars’, and an ‘Editors’ Forum’ featuring editors of major chemistry-related journals. Also, unique to such conferences, the ‘1st Asian Chemistry Research Fair' will be held to showcase some 100 poster research projects by budding secondary school, junior college and polytechnic ‘scientists’ from across Singapore. In addition, the event will host the ‘Asia America Chemical Symposium’, jointly organised by an intercontinental committee from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS).

The conference is a timely reminder of the importance that chemistry plays in daily life and how it can advance the future of technologies. Chemistry is an essential element in creating anything from shampoos to the latest light emitting diode (LED) TVs or in the distillation of raw petroleum to power the world. More than that, advances in chemistry have given it a new role in shaping the future by tackling current global challenges such as the need for better healthcare, sustainability and ‘green’ research. New chemistry has allowed the development of organic solar cells for harnessing power, water treatment technologies via filtration and desalination, and new building materials that have less raw materials, are stronger but are lighter and can withstand extreme conditions. 

“The earth is under great stress. Chemistry is the underpinning science that could provide solutions for three of the biggest challenges facing the world today – energy, environment and health – which makes the value of this conference much more evident,” said conference chairperson, Professor Andy Hor, President of SNIC and Executive Director of A*STAR’s IMRE. “The return of the prestigious ACC to its birthplace after more than 20 years is a milestone and a testament to how far this nation has gone in terms of science and research.”

"Singapore has always had a high regard for the Asian Chemical Congress as it has always provided a platform for us to come together and to look forward, examining how the latest discoveries in chemistry can enable us to address the many challenges facing society in Singapore and around the world,” said Dr Keith Carpenter, Executive Director of A*STAR’s ICES, which is also a co-organiser of this conference. abc@koreanpress.net

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