Thursday, 29 September 2011

Crowds and Prizes at Emsley talk

Dr John Emsley's lecture on 'A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World' through chemistry attracted well over 70 members and friends to the British School of Brussels on the evening of Monday 19 September. The event was also the venue for presentation of prizes to students who scored well in the section's recent Chemistry Challenge competition.

John Emsley (right) is a champion of chemistry and his talk was based around his new book of the same name that was specifically written for International Year of Chemistry 2011 and describes the importance of chemistry in everyday life, the benefits that chemical science currently brings to society, and how this can continue on a truly sustainable basis.

“The world stands at a crossroads,” said John. “But what route to the future should we take?” A route to a sustainable society beckons John suggests, but requires a significant shift from a material world founded on fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, to one where materials are derived from biomass. “A great deal of emphasis on sustainability is solely on energy and fuels, but there is much more to it,” explained John. “And chemistry is vital to enable the transition to a bio-based society.”

Student prizes
But a key requirement to do this is more young people studying science and engineering. “Chemistry and the other sciences rely heavily on young people with vision and energy. This is the vital resource that we need to tap into if society wants a truly sustainable future,” John concluded.

RSC Belgium is playing its part in engaging with school students through a variety of initiatives including its recent Chemistry Challenge competition. This tough paper-based test of knowledge and initiative was devised by Rita Woodward and split into three sections: a chemistry multiple choice paper, structured questions on chemistry, and a 'Thinking Matters' paper that was not chemistry based.

Prizes were awarded to top performers in each section with the winners drawn from the British School of Brussels (BSB), International School of Brussels (ISB), St. Johns International School and the European Schools at Ixelles and Uccle. Some of the winners recieved their cash prizes and cerificates from section chair Prof. Bob Crichton at the John Emsley lecture (see above).

Keith Price Prize
The best overall entry in the two chemistry sections was from Krithika Swaminathan (pictured left) a studnet at at St. Johns school. Krithika will be the first recipient of the Keith Price Prize established in memory of one of RSC Belgium's founding members who died earlier this year.

Krithika and her family have recently left Belgium for Michigan in the USA, but the section hopes to keep in touch with her. Well done to Krithika and all the students who entered our 2011 Chemistry Challenge!

Look out for the 2012 edition!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World

The world stands at a crossroads. What route to the future should we take? Dr John Emsley is a well-known champion of chemistry and works to help people get a better appreciation of the role of chemistry in daily life and its essential contribution to a future sustainable world.

John will be in Brussels on the evening of 19 September to talk about his latest book – ‘A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World’. His latest work was specifically written for International Year of Chemistry 2011 and describes the importance of chemistry in everyday life, the benefits that chemical science currently brings to society, and how this can continue on a truly sustainable basis.

The route to a sustainable city beckons, but what effect will this have on chemistry, which seems to be so dependant on fossil resources? Its products are part of everyday life, and without them we could regress to the world of earlier generations when lives were blighted by disease, famine, dirt and pain.

Dr. John Emsley on "A Healthy, Wealthy, Sustainable World"

Monday September 19th at 19:45 for 20:00

The Brel Theatre at the British School of Brussels, Leuvensesteenweg 19, 3080 Tervuren.

Drinks and nibbles will be available after the lecture and there will be an opportunity to meet and talk with John.

Entrance: Adults €5, bona fide students free, payable at the door. Registration is not essential but if you do intend to come please email RSC Belgium with the number in your party, so we can make sure we have an adequate stock of refreshments on hand.

Dr. Emsley's talk will be based on his latest book ‘A Healthy, Wealthy Sustainable World’, which is published by the RSC.

About John
Dr John Emsley is the author of a series of highly readable best-selling popular science books about everyday chemistry. He has also published in national newspapers and magazines, and he has written chemistry text books and booklets for industry. Following his PhD research at Manchester University, John pursued an academic career in the University of London, before becoming science writer in residence at Imperial College London and then the University of Cambridge where he was science writer in residence. In addition to his popular books and articles he has also authored over 110 original research papers.