Sunday, 23 October 2011

JRC at Geel

The section was very fortunate to be able to make a special visit to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)-Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) at Geel on the afternoon of 14 October.

JRC-IRMM is responsible for the maintenance and distribution of supplies of certified reference materials in support of EU legislation. It also produces reference materials for emerging measurement needs in, for example, clinical chemistry, GMO's microbiology and food contaminants, such as PCB's.

The visit saw the Centre's state-of-the-art sample preparation facilities, food safety section and its GMO laboratories amongst other highlights.

The tour was arranged by RSC member, and our host for the visit, Prof. Hendrik Emons who is Head of Unit for Reference Materials at IRMM. Prof. Emons (third from right) is pictured with members of the RSC visiting party above.

Prior to the visit members had lunch at the Brasserie Flore on the market square in Geel.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Chemistry and Culture at EESC

October was a very hectic month for the RSC Belgium section with a variety of events in which the section either participated or organised. Kicking off the month was the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) week-long celebration of IYC 2011.

From Monday October 3 to Friday October 7 a series of events were organised at the EESC HQ at Rue Belliard 99, Brussels that the section supported and many members and friends attended. We include some photos from the events below.

Highlights of the week included:

The opening reception with a chemistry demo (above) from Technopolis Science Centre on the evening of Monday 3 October.

An exhibition on Maria Sklodowska-Curie (Marie Curie) all week with an official opening by the wife of the Polish Ambassador to the EU on Wednesday 5 October lunchtime.

Prof Dimitri Mendeleev was reanimated by actor Peter Casey (pictured above, left, with David Sears UK EESC member and organiser of the EESC IYC week) and instigated an elemental question and answer session on Thursday 6 October at lunchtime.

A very interesting presentation on the 'Catalytic Clothing' project with Profs Tony Ryan and Helen Storey (pictured above) was given on the evening of Thursday 6 October. This initiative has some excellent ecological credentials and also novel ideas for science communication with the public.

A presentation on the Solar Impulse aircraft from Solvay at lunchtime on Friday 7 October.

Mendeleev School Tour
Peter Casey stayed in Brussels for a couple of school visits as well. On Friday 7 October Prof Mendeleev spent the day at the British School of Brussels (BSB) and on Monday he visited the European School at Mol. At both schools he helped bring the Periodic Table vividly to life for students of all ages. He is shown 'in action' at BSB below.