IUPAC/ACS 2011 Challenge Grants

IUPAC/ACS 2011 Challenge Grants

In 2007, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Board of Directors approved funding for challenge grants to encourage scientific contributions to the IUPAC 2011 World Congress, which will take place 30 July to 7 August 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The grants were intended to help the Colegio de Quimicos de Puerto Rico in its bid to host the event—to be held in Latin America for the first time.

The IUPAC 2011 scientific organizing committee and its challenge grant review panel selected three challenge grant applications to receive support to organize symposia for the 2011 IUPAC World Congress:

  • “Physical-Chemical Techniques to Solve Environmental Challenges,” Laura L. McConnell, research chemist, USDA-ARS
  • “Challenges for Materials Chemistry in the 21st Century,” Leonard V. Interrante, chair, IUPAC Interdivisional Subcommittee on Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute
  • “Are Women Still Underrepresented in Science?,” Ingrid Montes, professor of chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras

The 2011 IUPAC World Congress in Puerto Rico is a cornerstone event of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry.

“Physical-Chemical Techniques to Solve Environmental Challenges”

Advances in environmental science are occurring rapidly with the introduction of new analytical approaches to better characterize the chemical and physical interactions between pollutants and complex natural systems. Large databases of important physical and chemical properties of pesticides and other organic and inorganic pollutants exist for use in environmental fate models. However, the fate of these pollutants will also be strongly influenced by the chemical nature of the heterogeneous environmental compartments like sediments, colloids, soils, atmospheric particles, and living organisms. The nature of environmental compartments will vary widely in different parts of the world, influencing the distribution, transport, and persistence of compounds. Scientists are utilizing innovative analytical techniques and technologies to better characterize natural media and the interaction of pollutants with these media in order to understand and solve environmental problems. This symposium will highlight some of the newest developments in this field of research with respect to analytical technologies, environmental problems, and regions of the world.

This symposium is a partnership among the IUPAC Division of Chemistry and the Environment, the Agrochemicals and Environmental Chemistry Divisions of ACS, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The two-day symposium will be organized by representatives of all four organizations, including Edgard Resto-Rodríguez, IUPAC national representative from Puerto Rico.

“Challenges for Materials Chemistry in the 21st Century”

The goal of this symposium is to illustrate how materials chemistry has contributed, and will continue to contribute, to many important needs of society. Rather than general poster sessions, two or more workshops in various areas of materials chemistry will be offered in the evenings. Potential topics under consideration include Materials Chemistry Approaches for Energy Generation (solar H2, thermoelectrics); Nanostructured Carbon for Fuel Cells, Batteries, Structural Reinforcement and Electronics; and New (Non-Carbon) Materials for Energy Storage. The workshops will be open to all Congress registrants and involve the active participation of experts in the chosen areas.

“Are Women Still Underrepresented in Science?”

Over the years, the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has provoked worldwide discussion. Research has offered a number of possible explanations for lower numbers of women in these fields: education environments, lack of role models, and poor preparation and lack of encouragement in STEM subjects, among others. It has also been suggested that underrepresentation is mainly a cultural phenomenon and that policies can affect workforce diversity. With this in mind, a full day program will be held at the Congress in order to recognize the contributions of women to chemistry.

The program will start with a plenary lecture by Ada Yonath, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. This will be followed by a full-day symposium to discuss statistics in different countries, possible causes of underrepresentation, and ongoing challenges around the world. Each presenter will also discuss the attitudes, behaviors, opportunities, and resources that lead to their success.

Following the symposium, the play A Living History of Marie Curie by Susan Marie Frontczak will be presented. The presentation will help meet the IYC 2011 objective of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Marie Sklodowska Curie. In addition, a brochure that will feature 12 eminent women chemists and Marie Curie will be distributed to participants of the Congress and online.


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