Conference Report: Swiss Snow Symposium 2020
Guido Panzarasa, ETH Zürich, email@example.com
The 18th edition of the Swiss Snow Symposium (SSS), the traditional yearly event organized by the Swiss Young Chemists’ Association (SYCA), took place from the 24th to the 26th of January 2020 in the beautiful scenario of Saas-Fee (VS).
The SSS 2020 brought together 35 participants from all over Switzerland (ETH Zürich, EPF Lausanne, the Universities of Zürich, Basel, Fribourg and Geneva), including a special guest: the President of the Swiss Chemical Society, Dr. Alain De Mesmaeker (Syngenta, BS). Thanks to the generous support from the SCS Foundation (Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Lüthi), participation to the SSS 2020 was free of charge for the Alfred Werner Scholars – an initiative which has been confirmed already for the next year.
The scientific program featured seven invited lectures (with speakers from academia, industry and scientific publishing), seven contributed talks and a poster session.
On Friday, after the words of welcome from Dr. Guido Panzarasa (ETH Zürich), President of SYCA and Chair of the SSS 2020, the Symposium was kicked-off by Prof. Dr. Paul Dyson (EPF Lausanne), who shared his knowledge on how to write a successful scientific proposal. Then, it was the turn of Dr. Jean-Baptiste Langlois (Novartis, BS) to give insight on the drug discovery process, and especially about his research on protease-activity inhibitors.
The talk of Prof. Dr. Victor Mougel (ETH Zürich) demonstrated how the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into useful products can be achieved using bioinspired electrodes. Inspiration from nature was an important theme also in the talk of Prof. Dr. Christof Sparr (University of Basel), where the science of catalytic cascade reactions gave rise to the artistic beauty of complex molecular architectures.
On Saturday, thanks to the beautiful weather, and in the best tradition of the SSS, the morning and early afternoon could be dedicated to snow activities, such as skiing and snow-shoeing, but also to a relaxing stroll around the village.
The scientific program was then started by Dr. Maud Reiter, from Firmenich (GE), who enriched her talk on the development of sustainable approaches for the industrial synthesis of odorous molecules, and especially of the long-sought artificial muguet, by a perfume-tasting experience. Dr. Richard Smith (Wiley-VHCA)
Delegate Assembly of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN)
Amin Hodai, EPFL Lausanne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 15th Delegate Assembly (DA) of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) took place in Sitges, Spain, on January 26–29, 2020 and it was organized in collaboration with the Catalan Chemical Society. Two Delegates, namely Dr. Jovana V. Milic (EPFL) and Amin Hodaei (EPFL), represented the Swiss Young Chemists’ Association (SYCA) at this event.
During the DA, EYCN Delegates and the current board members presented their activities performed within the last year. Moreover, this event hosted a number of special guests including Prof. Javier García Martínez, The President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and Prof. Pilar Goya Laza, The President of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS). While Prof. Javier García Martínez talked about the novel ways of automation in chemical sciences, Prof. Pilar Goya Laza gave a speech on the role and actions of EuChemS. Besides, gave advice on how to write a successful paper, based on his experience as managing editor of Helvetica Chimica Acta. Last but not least, Dr. Daniel Seeliger (Boehringer-Ingelheim, BE) gave a taste of the power of computational methods, especially of molecular dynamics, to help the difficult process of drug discovery.
The variety of topics discussed in the invited lectures was mirrored in the contributed talks and posters: from supramolecular chemistry to materials, from polymer chemistry to catalysis, and even systems chemistry.
Two prizes (of 100 CHF each), sponsored by Helvetica, for the Best Contributed Talk and Best Poster Presentation were assigned respectively to Laurent Severy (University of Zürich, “Host-guest interactions on electrode surfaces for immobilization of molecular catalysts”), and to Charlotte Kress (University of Basel, “A macrocyclic Au-atom acceptor”). The winners received also a small cadeau from Firmenich.
Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to everybody who contributed to the success of the event. See you next year!
Thanks a lot also to our sponsors and partners that supported the event and made it possible to offer the weekend at a reasonable prize for our community members. (For example Shimadzu)
Dr. Haymo Ross (the Editor of Chemistry—A European Journal) discussed the publishing metrics and challenges faced in this direction.
The SYCA Delegates, Dr. Jovana V. Milic (EPFL) and Amin Hodaei (EPFL) has maintained their roles to continue as the Leader of the Networks team and a member of the Global Communications team, respectively. The Networks team is dedicated to increasing the impact of the EYCN through its activities and international partnerships with academia, industry, and governmental bodies, while connecting and supporting young chemists. In addition, the Global Communications team focuses on global outreach to expand the contact of the EYCN beyond Europe.
Moreover, the 15th DA also involved the elections for hosting the next DA in 2021. In this regard, through the election and by the votes of the delegates, the Swiss Chemical Society was elected to host the next DA in 2021 in Fribourg, Switzerland. The SYCA will mainly organize this event in collaboration with the EYCN. We believe that this event will be a great opportunity for the Swiss Chemical Society for enhanced visibility within Europe and beyond.