Dear delegates of the CSC 2024 conference,

As we pack away our test tubes full of discovery and innovation and bid farewell to the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CSC 2024) in Winnipeg, I would like to take a moment to express my dearest and most heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you.

This year’s CSC conference was a vibrant hub of scientific exchange, featuring plenty of groundbreaking research presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and innovative workshops that have undoubtedly advanced our collective knowledge and passion for chemistry.

This year’s conference was truly remarkable, with several activities that stood out:

  • Innovative Research: Attendees witnessed over 1370 research presentations, highlighting cutting-edge chemistry for the betterment of our planet and society.
  • Networking Opportunities: CSC 2024 facilitated numerous networking and off-site social events, including the ‘Meet and greet – Industry x early career talent’ mixer, where many budding partnerships and mentorships formed.
  • Awards and Recognition: 37 awardees were recognized at the CIC Chair’s and CSC President’s Awards Ceremony and Reception. Check out the photos from the magical night.
  • Accessibility Efforts: Emphasizing our commitment to accessibility, this year’s conference was our most accessible to date. ASL interpreters were available at every plenary and for the entire Monday for anyone who needed support. There was ample seating at all receptions, and wide aisles in all technical session rooms.

Keynote Speakers at CSC 2024
CSC 2024 was enriched by an array of renowned keynote speakers, each an expert in their respective fields within the vast expanse of chemistry. Their presentations were not only informative but also inspiring, setting the tone for the engaging discussions that followed.

Using a renowned data-oriented approach, blogger Chemjobber delivered a talk titled ‘A Compass in the Wilderness: Networking for Chemistry Job Seekers and Finding Paths to Your Desired Career’ where he provided insights into the philosophy of networking and new pathways towards finding your desired chemistry career, along with some practical networking tips and tricks.

Specializing in synthetic organic chemistry, Professor Richmond Sarpong of University of California, Berkeley, captivated the audience with his session titled ‘Break-it-to-Make-it Strategies for Chemical Synthesis Inspired by Complex Natural Products’, highlighting breakthrough strategies and methods that have been developed in his laboratory to achieve skeletal editing.

Professor Barbara Finlayson-Pitts of University of California, Irvine, an expert working at the intersection between the chemistry of air quality, health and climate delivered a keynote titled ‘The Intertwining of Air Quality, Air Toxics and Climate: Why Molecular Level Understanding Matters’

During his presentation on ‘Tuning Reactivity with the Periodic Table: Pentadentate Ligand Designs for Small Molecule Activation,’ CIC Medal winner and University of Calgary Professor Warren Piers focused on the features of pentadentate ligands and how they can be paired with first row transition metals to provide platforms for the coordination and activation of small molecules such as water, ammonia or oxygen.

Lastly, Montréal Medal winner and Simon Fraser University Professor Steven Holdcroft illustrated the reciprocal influence between research and community service on a career in chemistry during a talk on titled ‘Building Bridges, Opening Doors: The Symbiosis of Community Service and Research’.

Each plenary speaker brought an exceptional viewpoint, contributing to the extensive depth of knowledge that makes CSC 2024 the premier Canadian conference in the chemistry community. I speak for everyone when I say that we are deeply appreciative of their contributions and the lasting impact they have had on all attendees.

Transition Program Highlights 
The Transition Program workshops and events at CSC 2024 were a highlight for many undergrads, postgrads and early career professionals, providing an interactive platform for deeper learning and skill development. Here are some of the standout workshops from this year’s conference:

  • “How to Network Workshop”: This workshop taught attendees networking strategies and approaches to support their experience at this conference and beyond.
  • “Exploring Careers Outside of the Laboratory Panel Discussion”: Led by renowned chemists based in various careers and fields, this workshop displayed career options for chemists curious about applying their skills and training outside of traditional academia or industry paths.
  • “Meet and greet – Industry x early career talent. Sponsored by DuPont and Syngenta”: This was the perfect opportunity for early career professionals to mingle with representatives from Dupont, Syngenta and other industry partners at this speed networking event and to catalyze their career transition by practicing flash introductions and making new valuable connections.
  • “Culture of Lab Safety Panel Discussion. Sponsored by Brenntag”: This workshop focused on best practices for root cause analysis and implementation of corrective actions. The objective was to provide attendees with a deeper understanding of how incidents can occur, what to do when one happens and, most critically, what can be done to prevent incidents in the first place – an absolute must for every lab in the world.

Each workshop and event of the Transitions Program was designed to be inclusive, informative, fun, and inspiring by catering to a range of expertise levels and it was met with enthusiastic participation. The knowledge and skills gained in these sessions are invaluable, equipping attendees with new tools to use in their daily life and taking them back to their own institutions, labs and workplaces.

Thank You, The People
However, the CSC conferences are not just about science; they are also about the people. This year, the subject divisions and member resource groups offered a variety of off-site social events for CSC 2024 attendees to mingle, unwind, and form lasting connections.

These events were designed to complement the academic program, offering a chance to relax, celebrate, enjoy the company of peers, and create memories that extend beyond the realm of chemistry and build community, friendships and rapport among the various groups.

The success of the CSC conferences can also be attributed to the generous contribution of all our sponsors. We also wish to acknowledge all 39 of the CSC 2024 exhibition partners, who provided an interactive platform for displaying the latest technologies and services in the field.

Each sponsor and exhibitor played a pivotal role in the orchestration of this event, and it is their vision and support that keep the CSC conference at the forefront of the chemistry community in Canada. We are proud to be associated with such esteemed organizations and look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.

I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated members of the CSC 2024 organizing committee, who worked so passionately and tirelessly to ensure the success of the conference. Their commitment, expertise, and meticulous planning were instrumental in creating a memorable event.

I would also like to express our gratitude to the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Manitoba for both generously hosting the conference. Their support, facilities, and warm hospitality contributed significantly to the overall experience of our participants.

I would also like to extend a HUGE thank you to the student volunteers from the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan. Some of you travelled hundreds of kilometers by bus to attend the conference. Your tireless efforts behind the scenes ensured a seamless and enriching experience for all.

Finally, I would like to thank YOU — all attendees of the CSC 2024 conference — for your presence and participation. Your unwavering support and passion for chemistry have not only enriched this gathering but have also been the driving force behind its inception and continued success. It is your curiosity, your quest for knowledge, and your commitment to the field that make our conference meaningful and vibrant.

You are the heart of this event; without you, there would be no exchange of ideas, no advances in our field, and no community to celebrate the wonders of chemistry. Thank you for being the core of our conference and making it a success year after year.

Save the date for CSC 2025
As we reflect on the success of CSC 2024, we are already filled with anticipation for what the next CSC conference will bring. We are excited to announce that CSC 2025 will be held in Ottawa, known for its vibrant scientific community, rich cultural heritage, and being the nation’s capital.

Mark your calendars from Jun. 15-19, 2025, and prepare for an engaging and enlightening experience. CSC 2025, whose theme is “Chemistry. Unfiltered.”, promises to be another landmark event, featuring the latest scientific breakthroughs and a platform for the brightest minds in chemistry to share their insights. Our thanks to Prof Maria DeRosa and the conference scientific organizing team for their hard work and dedication in bringing this event to life.

To that end, we invite you to submit proposals for symposia topics to be featured at CSC 2025. Whether it’s emerging research areas, interdisciplinary collaborations, or innovative teaching methods, we want to hear from you by Jul. 15, 2024.

As we bid farewell, I encourage you to carry the spirit of CSC and chemistry with you. Let the knowledge you’ve gained during CSC 2024 spark innovation and progress in your work. We look forward to seeing the impact of your research and hope to welcome you again at next year’s conference.

Until then, keep exploring, discovering, and pushing the boundaries of chemistry.

Warm regards,
Josephine Tsang, PhD, MCIC
Executive Director
Chemical Institute of Canada