World Chemistry Leadership Meeting

Atlantic Room

Wednesday 23 August 2023, 10:00h to 13:00h

The Future of Chemistry: Catalyzing Innovation for Sustainable Development.

The IUPAC project – The Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry – has sparked a global conversation about the future of chemistry, raising questions such as: What is the “next best thing” in chemistry? How do we prepare for it? Where is chemistry heading with regards to access to resources, regulation, energy, health, materials…?  The organizers of this session reached out to leaders in the global chemical community and asked what they perceived as Society’s most pressing problems and what challenges chemistry faces in finding solutions to those problems. As a result, the topics listed below, such as the digital transformation of chemistry, new fuels, and the future of chemistry education will be presented and discussed.

The session will be moderated by Bert Weckhuysen. For more information click here.

Moderator: Bert Weckhuysen

Bert Weckhuysen is a Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). The group has been active in the synthesis, characterization and application of catalysts for the manufacturing of our current and future fuels, chemicals and materials. Recent research is devoted to CO2 activation, as well as chemical recycling of plastics and upgrading of municipal and agricultural waste. He received many prizes, including the Emmett Award, Bourke Award, Spinoza Award, Tanabe Prize, and Chemistry Europe Award. He has been appointed Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion and is a member of a.o. the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts, and European Academy of Science.

Nessa Carson – Digital transformation of chemistry

Talk Description
Modern chemistry is undergoing a transformative change with the advent of data and digitalization. Making the most of the work all chemists do will require a global community effort. Now is the time to unite to digitalize, and actualize the full potential of our research.

About Nessa Carson
Nessa Carson is working for AstraZeneca as Digital Champion in Early Chemical Development. She was recently awarded the Salters’ Institute Centenary Award for early-career chemists with the potential to make an outstanding long-term contribution to the chemical industry, and maintains a website of useful chemistry resources,

Oldamur Hollóczki – Advanced Chemical Recycling of Plastics

Talk Description
Molecular modelling enables describing the interaction of micro- and nanoplastics with biomolecular systems, to reveal potentially harmful effects.

About Oldamur Hollóczki
Oldamur Hollóczki is a professor of chemistry at the University of Debrecen, working on sustainable and environmental chemistry through theoretical chemistry.

Laura L. McConnell – Feeding the Planet

Talk Description
Agriculture is in the midst of a digital revolution and chemistry is a key driver of increased productivity and sustainability.

About Laura L. McConnell
Dr. Laura L. McConnell is a Science Fellow in the Regulatory Scientific Affairs team at Bayer Crop Science in the United States.

Svetlana Tsogoeva: New Methods for Drug Discovery

Talk Description
How drug discovery and development process can be simplified and accelerated with cutting-edge technologies that go beyond the traditional organic synthesis approaches

About Svetlana Tsogoeva
Svetlana B. Tsogoeva is Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. She develops new synthetic methodologies toward bioactive compounds and drugs.

Hennie Valkenier: Pandemic Responsiveness

Talk Description
Chemists have united their efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and both fundamental and applied research in Chemistry are crucial to prepare for future pandemics.

About Hennie Valkenier
Hennie Valkenier develops synthetic transmembrane transporters as FNRS researcher in the Engineering of Molecular NanoSystems lab at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

Alejandro Franco: New Fuels

Talk Description
As we seek clean and sustainable energy sources, batteries are emerging as a crucial technology for the future. Battery research and development are ongoing, and optimizing battery manufacturing is complex due to the numerous parameters involved. Digital tools can accelerate the optimization and improve battery design and production, through the simulation of the manufacturing process and the prediction of performance using multiscale modeling and artificial intelligence. In my talk I will discuss some of our ongoing efforts in this regard.

About Alejandro Franco
Dr. Alejandro A. Franco is a Full Professor at Université de Picardie Jules Verne in France and Honorary Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. 

Ben Feringa: Reinventing Chemistry

Talk Description
Chemistry, as the creating science part excellence, has seen marvelous success in shaping modern society. Facing now major challenges such as sustainable processes or integrating information technology while crossing disciplines we require new approaches to teach chemistry and expanding our unifying language.

About Ben Feringa
Professor Dr. Feringa is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van’t Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences. In 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He is also the Honorary Chair of the IUPAC|CHAINS 2023 World Chemistry Congress.