Chemical Science Symposium 2020: How can machine learning and autonomy accelerate chemistry?

29 - 30 September 2020, London, United Kingdom

This meeting is the second in a new series of symposia at the home of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Under the banner of our flagship open access journal, Chemical Science, we’ll be shining a spotlight on cutting-edge chemistry research and giving it the sort of attention that drives scientific progress and makes a difference.

We warmly invite you to join us for the second in this series of Chemical Science symposia, and look forward to welcoming you to the headquarters of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

About the symposium

Leading chemical science researchers and emerging investigators from a broad range of backgrounds will come together to explore and celebrate the theme of the 2020 symposium: How can machine learning and autonomy accelerate chemistry? 

The scientific programme of talks will also be complemented by flash talks and poster sessions to provide further networking opportunities and discussion for all attendees.


  • Machine learning assisted materials design and discovery
  • The utilisation of machine learning and automony in industry
  • Self-driving laboratories for molecular synthesis
  • Application of machine learning to drug discovery and chemical biology
"The symposium was one of the best conferences I have ever been to. Being able to present my research at the prestigious Burlington House venue in London felt very special and I was able to meet and network with academics, PDRAs and students with similar research interests. The relatively small size made it easy to meet almost everyone and chatting to Chemical Science editors was really interesting and encouraged me to pursue publishing my research in ChemSci and other high impact RSC journals." - Christopher G. Thompson, PhD Student, Heriot-Watt University


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, or have childcare, caring responsibilities or other care needs, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. Please refer also to our Grants for carers fund, for more information please see the ‘bursaries’ section on this page.
Abstract Submission

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 21 July 2020. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and poster sessions are held during the lunch breaks on both days.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for a poster presentation.
Please read the registration information before registering.  You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.  Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

For non-member registrants attending this event, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry is available until the end of 2021, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on both days
Regsitration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevaling rate):
Early bird
(11 Aug 2020)
(1 Sept 2020)
Members* £100 £120
Non-members £150 £170
Student members* £80 £90
Student non-members £90 £100

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

Travel and Health Insurance

Delegates are advised to ensure that they have appropriate travel and health insurance.
Book now

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


We have two types of grants available to attend this meeting:

  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis.  Applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education. In addition, applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
To take advantage of these grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.
Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if:
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

Please note that accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Ellis Salsby are providing an accommodation booking service for this event.  If you would like to book accommodation, please use the link provided.

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