For his time4chem, Antoine Buchard discusses his experience at the 2016 edition of the meeting of inorganic chemists recently appointed (MICRA)
The meeting took place at the University of Bath from 5–7 September 2016. Since its initiation in 1984, this biennial conference has become an important and powerful networking event for the UK’s inorganic chemistry community. MICRA events bring together early career researchers (post-docs, research fellows, lecturers; all giving an oral presentation of their work) from a variety of sub-disciplines, with a few established academics who share their experience and advice. This year, 41 regular participants attended the conference and over the three-day programme, 37 early-career researchers presented their work. In addition, the meeting featured eight guest lectures, ranging from scientific and award talks to several interventions related to how the Royal Society of Chemistry supports its members, academic careers, publishing strategy and funding opportunities.
This 2016 edition of MICRA also coincided with the 50th anniversary of Bath, and on that occasion, honorary degrees (of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa) were awarded to Professor Phil Power (UC Davis) and Professor Robert Crabtree (Yale, Honorary Degree Awardee), whose visit was sponsored by the University of Bath Anniversary fund. Other guest lectures were delivered by Professor Raithby (University of Bath), Professor Simon Coles (National Crystallography Service), Professor Emma Raven (RSC Dalton Division), Dr Andrew Shore (Dalton Transactions), Dr Adrian Chaplin (University Warwick, RSC Award Lecture), and Dr Eleanor Jaskowska (EPSRC). A Best Presentation Prize, sponsored by Dalton Transactions, was awarded to Dr Sophie Benjamin from Nottingham Trent University for her talk: Transition Metal Halide Complexes with Halostibines – Adventures in Structure, Bonding and Reactivity.
Thanks to the generous support of the RSC Dalton Division (small grant scheme), as well as additional sponsorship from the National Crystallography Service and industrial exhibitors (Advion, Asynt, Alvatek, Buchi, Fisher Scientific, GPE Scientific, MBraun, Strem UK), the entrance fee could be maintained under the historical and symbolic £100. All participants engaged very well with the programme and lively discussions often quickly developed further during the coffee and lunch breaks. The surrounding social activities (like the welcome BBQ on campus and conference dinners at the Turtle Bay in Bath and at the Old Crown inn in Kelston) were all very well attended. As a result of MICRA, several collaborations have been initiated and invitations to give research seminars all over the UK were also exchanged. MICRA 2016 was a huge success which brought together and strengthened the whole community of inorganic chemists (regardless of experience). The next edition of MICRA will take place in 2018 and will be organised by Drs T Easun and R Melen from Cardiff University.
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