PhD student Yanyang Chen presented a poster related to her studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

PhD student Yanyang Chen presented a poster related to her studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Chemical Institute of Canada chair John Vederas, FCIC, of the University of Alberta introduced the CSC and CIC award winners.

Chemical Institute of Canada chair John Vederas, FCIC, of the University of Alberta introduced the CSC and CIC award winners.

About 2,000 chemists from around the world gathered in Halifax from June 5-9 to enjoy some Maritime fog, a bit of sun, as well as the 99th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, featuring the slogan, “Chemistry: The Next Wave.” The technical program and plenary lectures were accompanied by numerous new initiatives, including an Exhibition Stamp Card Contest, increased focus on professional development programming and the unveiling of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) five-year strategic plan.

Plenary speaker Eugenia Kumacheva, a chemistry professor at the University of Toronto, kicked off the conference, wowing attendees with details about her research into microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technology. Incoming CSC vice-president Kim Baines, FCIC, of Western University spoke about chemistry leadership to a packed room during her Montréal Medal lecture. The Chemistry Education Division challenged its audience at a new symposium on Equity and Diversity in Chemistry, featuring University of Prince Edward Island associate professor Nola Etkin’s frank discussion about her experiences “as an out, lesbian PhD student…navigating the pathway to and through an academic career.” The 2016 CSC Professional Development Track featured four events: a career discussion panel and coffee mixer, a soft skills communications workshop, the CSC President’s Event and the inaugural CSC Speed Networking Evening. The latter brought together 63 chemists and 21 industrial, academic and government representatives during a speed networking exercise where they were each given one minute to showcase themselves to a chemistry professional.  

The 32nd CSC Annual General Meeting saw the unveiling of a five-year strategic plan by president Neil Burford, FCIC. The plan focuses on engaging current and potential members through various means, including CSC programing, diversification, awards and the development of a policy on bilingualism. CSC members can read full details at www.cheminst.ca and are encouraged to become involved by emailing info@cheminst.ca

Finally, Burford and CIC chair John Vederas, FCIC, honoured the 2016 CSC and Chemical Institute of Canada award winners at the CIC and CSC Awards Banquet. 

The University of Toronto will host next year’s auspicious 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition from May 28-June 1, 2017. This will mark not only a century of CSC conferences but will coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday. A public lecture and other special programming are already in the works.