Chemistry: The Key for our Future

The second International Conference on Pure and Applied Chemistry (ICPAC 2012) was held from 2 to 6 July 2012 at Hilton Mauritius Resorts and Spa, Mauritius and was opened by Dr The Honourable Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology. The Organising Committee adopted the theme “Chemistry: The Key for our Future”, highlighting the importance of chemistry in our life and the crucial role it has to play in the future. This recognition was one of the factors for United Nations to declare the year 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. It was also the year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Marie Curie.

One of the outcomes of these celebrations was that the activities organised in different countries to promote Chemistry, and its contributions to the well-being of mankind, should be pursued. Also, an evaluation of these efforts cumulated over several years would be a better indicator of the progress made.

90 foreign delegates coming from 31 countries in addition to 30 Mauritians participated in ICPAC 2012. It was interesting to note the participation of young scientists. The Conference featured keynote, plenary, oral and poster presentations, a workshop and a symposium.

We were honoured to have Prof Robert Huber, the 1988 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner, for the keynote address entitled “Proteins and their Structures at the Interface of Physics, Chemistry and Biology”. The sessions were both stimulating and enriching, and awards were given for the three best posters.

Apart from the academic aspect of the conference, evening functions namely the welcome reception, banquet and cultural/participants’ night were organised. There was also a one-day tour to visit some places in the southern part of the Island.

The Conference was a successful one, as it can be noted by the feedback from the online survey, ICPAC 2012. Attendees expressed innovative ideas to promote their teaching and research. Participants were encouraged to submit full papers of their presentations for peer-reviewing for the book of Conference Proceedings to be published by Springer.

The next ICPAC conference, namely ICPAC 2014, is scheduled from 23 to 27 June 2014 in Mauritius.

Assoc. Prof. Ponnadurai Ramasami, Chairman of ICPAC conference

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