Improving the way we workProfessor Jim FeastPresident Regional meetings 2007
We know that this has been a favourite theme of the Prime Minister, and Gordon Brown announced that Education his top priority in his Pre Budget Report.Chemistry confidence for non-specialistsThe RSC, supported by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has secured 1.3M funding to support a new teacher training initiative, Chemistry for non-specialists (its not as hard as you think!). The three year programme of courses is specifically designed to raise the confidence and expertise of non-specialist science teachers teaching KS3 or KS4 chemistry in UK secondary schools and aims to reach 900 teachers a year
Chemistry for our future
Teacher fellowsWe will be launching the teacher fellows scheme shortly, which aims to improve the mutual understanding between schools and universities through the exchange of information and joint projects.
University schools interfaceHere well be examining new ways of teaching chemistry at university, as well as different ways of supporting students throughout their first year.
EuropeThe European dimension is increasingly important and we need to ensure that UK chemistry graduates can compete on a continental basis.
Open learningWe are looking at ways of attracting student from non-traditional backgrounds, such as adult learners and helping then to complete degrees and to meet the needs of industry
New laboratoriesSheffield University have just opened state of the art laboratories specifically for the use of local schools, and the University of Bristol have opened facilities which school pupils will share with undergraduates a smart use of expensive laboratory space.
Chemistry at WorkWe have a massive number of contacts from Chemistry at Work events, where school students get the opportunity to appreciate the place of chemistry in everyday life and the world of work, with particular emphasis on what is happening in their local area and with the support of industry. We hope that these contacts will enable us to make Chemistry for our Future an even greater success.For instance, in Lancashire, Ken Reed from BP has been doing a marvellous job. He has put on a programme of 6 Chemistry at work events for 10 AimHigher schools, with 15 pupils attending from each school. Hes use a range of interesting venues, including Burnleys football ground Turf Moor. Over the last 5 years Ken calculates that 8,752 school pupils, who come from backgrounds which are traditionally under represented in the sciences, have attended Chemistry at Work events. Just imagine how many children this equates to when we extrapolate this to the rest of the country.We held the first Chem Careers in Birmingham in November, a unique careers fair for chemical scientists with a difference.
Apart from a presence from 26 exhibitors, there were numerous presentations and workshops on a range of subjects from advice on your next carer move, to how to make yourself more attractive to employers.
We ad planned for a maximum of 500 attendees, but, with over 600 students and post graduates turning up mid way through the event, we were forced to turn some late comers away.
Except more of these events in a central location in 2007 and in a larger venue!Enhanced html for journalsThe RSC will be the first publisher of chemistry journals in the World to offer enhanced html for journal articles. This will allow a wide range of searches and will significantly enhance the service we provide to journal subscribers.
Electronic books collection In January we launched our online books collection and all 754 texts will be available.
Chemistry World We are assessing the possibility of launching international versions of Chemistry World watch this space for more developments.Future plans for CI KTN in 2007
1. Engaging in Suschem Implementation Action PlanThis arose from the Suschem Strategic Research Agenda Which is a 5.5bn annual research programme67% from industry33% from EU & national governmentsThis also includes influencing the European Framework Programme 7 (FP7) the EUs next round of funding for research
2. Building stronger relationships with DTI departments and Research Councils e.g. EPSRC
3. Further establishing Strategic Partnerships with Regional Agencies and Devolved Administrations
4. Facilitating collaborative research projects between industry, academia and GovernmentFor instance, Fluorum. Fuorum is the UKs leading network focussed on fluorine technology. With over 20 member companies, Fluorum represents a wide range of fluorine-using sectors from pharma and agrochemicals to bulk producers and custom manufacturers. It also works with a number of UK universities and frequently holds and co-hosts research seminars bringing together industry and academia. The Government has funded Fluorum to increase the UK's industrial and academic capabilitiesin Fluorine chemistry which ithas identified as a key manufacturing area. The theme for this years Chemistry week will be Energy and TravelThe overall theme of energy will top news agendas for the foreseeable future, and in transport accounts for about 30% of our energy consumption. For 2007 we are planning a national road show which will visit the 9 UK RSC regions with chemical science demonstrations, and we aim to help you to gain coverage in local and regional press to that everyone will know that Chemistry Week is here.
Transport (or travel, to be more evocative) allows us to engage with the public, with industry and with government and offers many opportunities to demonstrate the ways in which the chemical sciences can provide solutions to many of the problems that we face. For example, we will be looking to produce materials and exhibits in the following:Hydrogen fuel cellsAviationBiofuelsReducing vehicle weightHybrid & electric vehicles
Pauline Meakins is currently drawing up plans and if you have any ideas then please send them to her at this e-mail address:firstname.lastname@example.org
2005 saw the successful implementation of the new RSC web site, with a state of the art content management system.This massively increased the number of services and the amount of information that we can provide you with.
There are some issues to sort out, for instance, the need to sign in repeatedly when visiting different secure parts of the site.
A major project is now under way to make the web site faster, provide a wider range of services and to make navigation easier.
The improvements will be based around the way in which people want to use the site, making content as easy to find as possible.
The revamped system will be faster
We can also improve the way that we use the site to communicate progress on our major initiatives.There were several comments about the difficulty that members face in keeping up to date with things like Chemistry For Our Future and the Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network. We will tackle this by issuing clearer guidelines for staff who write content either way, youll see improvements in this area over the coming months.
You also wanted to know how you can get involved both the web site and RSC News will regularly carry the contact details of staff who coordinate programmes so that you can get in touch.
Finally, well update the information on our web site on the RSCs campaigns in the next few weeks. From a membership of 43,000 we know that there will be many chemical scientists who can make a valuable contribution.
Web siteFollowing your comments, we know that we need to make it easier for members to remotely access the web site to update their web pages, and we need to give you more support when you try to. Currently were overhauling the interest group web pages to make them more user friendly and you should see these changes in shortly.
A new handbook is being designed, containing information on procedures, communications, how to interact with other interest groups, etc
A new, easy to use template is being produced which will make the production of leaflets and flyers easier, and well help you to promote the outcomes of your meetings to the rest of the membership via RSC News.The emphasis is on helping the committees to deliver services to the wider membership.
The new governance structure facilitates this by allowing you to bid for funds to support initiatives that you want to pursue in order to improve services or to introduce new services.You asked us how we could improve the RSC Reps network and make better use of them.
The key to this is to make them feel more valued and this starts with their recruitment. David Lindores will meet members in person rather than recruiting them by telephone allowing him to use his persuasive skills and to ensure that the new rep fully understands his or her role.
We used to provide each new rep with a resource manual full of information tailored to their needs in 2007 we will be reintroducing a similar product as well as a register of all RSC reps something that they find really useful for networking. We will also provide them with more support by increasing the amount of personalised information that we send to them.
In return we can make far better use of our reps network, for instance by asking them to gather information on the major issues which are of concern to our members, whether they are in industry, academia or government.
The question of how the RSC can support its members who work in industry (about 60% of our membership) was raised a number of times at the general Assembly especially how we can engage with members who may be in mid career. Its clear that we need to investigate this further and well do this via our comprehensive membership survey, which we are due to conduct again later this year.
In fact, any feedback on this topic is especially valuable, so please dont hesitate to get in touch with us.The RSCs Charter Objective is to advance chemical science and its application.
In a world of increasing globalization, the RSC is becoming increasingly active in supporting chemical science - wherever it occurs.
This means operating internationally in publishing, membership and related activities.
After conducting extensive research, key countries have been chosen based upon: their importance for potential authors and customers for RSC Publishing areas where the RSC has a history of membership countries of strategic geographic and economic importance
In Singapore, for example, new research centres are set up every month and the New National Research Foundation has a budget of 1.7 billion. NRRFs priorities are biomedical sciences phase II (research into products, product development), environmental and water technology, media and the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). There is also a water recycling project which contains the largest desalination plant in the world utilizing reverse osmosis technology. I am pleased to announce that in July 2006, the RSC opened its first overseas office.
Dr Chunxiao Zheng is our first full-time, overseas representative and operates from an office (Room 101, for those of you familiar with George Orwells 1984!) on the campus of the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In October 2006, CEO Richard Pike signed an International Co-operation Agreement and an RSC Awards Agreement with the Chinese Chemical Society. Richard and other staff also attended the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Academy of sciences.
The first activity under the International Co-operation Agreement will be a joint seminar with the Chinese Chemical Society in early December 2006.
The key countries under the international strategy are: China/Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Brazil and South Africa.
India were signing an agreement with CRSI on Feb 1st.Singapore Simon Campbell to sign agreement in FebSouth Africa agreement to be signed in MarchBrazil - TBA
It is hoped that similar agreements will be signed with the chemical societies of each of these countries during the course of 2007. Indeed, discussions are already well under way.Being a member of the RSC puts you at the heart of a global chemical science network.
In 2007, this network will number 300,000, and growing..
The challenge for us will be to keep you up to date with developments and to enable you to can participate in this network.Here the aims are to:
Create a unique space in the heart of London to celebrate the excitement of chemistry, past, present and futureProvide a flexible meeting space for members, educational groups and the chemical science communityEnhance services and facilities for members
This builds on the cultural campus idea of collaboration between the different Burlington House Courtyard societies mentioned by Richard Pike yesterday and aims to create the Chemical Science Centre for Europe.
But it goes much further than the physical infrastructure, with digitisation of printed materials and new services making this a virtual library, which can be accessed from anywhere in the World. In this way, we hope to be able to tell the story of chemistry more effectively.
Naturally, we will ensure that our irreplaceable historical collection is preserved something you have been keen to remind us.
Primarily, this will be a London base for you to use you will still have quiet areas in which to study.
You also said that you would like the facilities to be open on evenings and at weekends. Were still investigating this and hope to be able to provide this service.
Chemistry has seen a rise in A-level students - 31,065 entries in 2003 compares to 33,164 in 2005 in England
Acceptances to study chemistry across the UK have risen for 3 years in a row 18% overall since 2003
This years rise of 4% was particularly remarkable when set against the overall fall of 4% for all subjects showing that higher tuition fees are not deterring students from studying chemistry, on the contrary, they understand that a degree in the chemical sciences is one of the best ways to make themselves attractive to future employers.The Independent ran a double page spread in January on Queen Mary College who have just reopened their undergraduate chemistry course.You may remember that the course at Queen Mary was one of the early casualties of the cuts that have taken place over recent years.
And the Indie did give credit to the RSC staff and members who have done so much to highlight this issue.
We know that theres still a long way to go, but were evidently not the only ones who believe that in backing chemistry youre backing a winner!