Astrochemistry at high resolution Faraday Discussion

31 May - 2 June 2023, Maryland, United States

Phishing Warning
We are aware that some speakers and delegates have been approached by companies claiming to operate on behalf of the Royal Society of Chemistry to book their travel and accommodation for our conferences. Please note that whilst we do sometimes work with accommodation providers in order to facilitate hotel bookings, they would never approach you in the first instance. Details of accommodation providers that we are working with are in the ‘accommodation’ section of this webpage. If you are unsure about an e-mail / phone call you receive, please contact us and do not provide any credit card details or personal information.


Join us in Baltimore in May 2023 for this latest addition to our Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have led the conversation in the sciences lying between chemistry, physics and biology. Many Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field, with their unique format allowing for in-depth discussions and opportunities to establish new collaborations.
This meeting is for established and early-career scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in high-resolution astrochemistry. Both computational and experimental scientists working to unlock the secrets of astrochemistry and astronomers engaged in observing and understanding star and planet formation will come together to understand the many physico-chemical processes that drive the modern Universe.
Oral and poster presentation opportunities are available to all, and we invite you to submit an oral or poster abstract to make your contribution alongside leaders in the field.
On behalf of the organising committee, I look forward to welcoming you to the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore.
Martin R. S. McCoustra
Heriot-Watt University and Conference Chair


Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussion journal. Find out more in the video available.


The aim of this meeting is to bring together researchers from astronomy, gas-phase, solid state and surface physics, and chemistry communities to address the wide-ranging roles of chemistry in astronomy in the light of the wealth of observational detail becoming available in this era of high resolution astrochemistry. Our window on the universe is being opened more widely as new observational platforms are developed that will overcome the limitations of resources currently available to astronomers.

Together we will address the role of chemical spectroscopy in identifying chemical species and probing their environments; we will attempt to understand the interplay of gas-phase, surface, solid state and photochemically-induced processes that drive the chemical evolution of our Galaxy and others; how this chemical evolution is intimately involved in controlling the process of star and planet formation; and how chemistry brings us to the edge of biology.

The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:

Observational astrochemistry in the age of ALMA, NOEMA, JWST and beyond!
There is much speculation about the chemistry occurring in a range of astronomical environments, but without observations on such environments such speculation is without foundation. Observational astrochemistry is the foundation on which astrochemistry is built. At the moment, we are seeing a revolution in the observational capabilities available to astronomers that is expected to continue into the 2020s and beyond. New and planned observational platforms are, and will, offer the potential for high-sensitivity and high-spatial resolution observations with chemical specificity across broad swathes of the electromagnetic spectrum. JWST, in particular, will provide unparalleled sensitivity in observing key species inaccessible to ground-based observatories. Indeed, there is much expectation of significant enhancement of the known chemical inventory in space as more and more complex organic molecules are revealed, placing even greater demands on Laboratory Astrochemistry to both aid in their assignment and explain their origin.

Laboratory astrochemistry of the gas phase
99% of the mass of the interstellar medium is gaseous; varying in density and temperature over a wide range as a result of variations in astronomical environment. Observations tell us which chemical species are present in various environments (if we can identify them and that in itself is a major challenge), but we need chemistry to explain how these species are formed and what happens to them as time and the physical evolution of astronomical environments progresses.

Laboratory astrochemistry of and on dust and ices
Just 1% of the mass of the interstellar medium is associated with solid state materials; dust and ices. But the dust and ice have a disproportionate impact on the chemistry of the interstellar medium. The formation of H2, the progenitor of much of the chemistry that we observe, is mediated by dust and ices. Ices themselves are a reservoir of small molecules crucial to the radiative cooling of collapsing gas clumps and hence intimately linked to the formation of small, long-lived stars. The ices are the chemical nanofactories in which the chemical precursors to biology may even be formed. Observations of the solid state in the infrared point to what might be present, but we rely on desorption of the ice and observation in the gas phase to infer the complexity of the chemistry that might be occurring on and in icy grains. Again, we need chemistry to explain how these species get there and what happens to them as time and the physical evolution of astronomical environments progresses.

Computational astrochemistry
The goal of astrochemistry is ultimately to explain what we see in the chemical Universe. To do so we must take laboratory observations and blend that with knowledge of the environments we hope to understand in numerical simulations. This is the goal of computational astrochemistry. The chemical network simulation lies at the heart of this topic, but these must also reflect the dynamics of the local environment.
Abstract Submission

Oral abstracts

Submit an oral/paper abstract if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work, by 11 January 2023.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster abstracts

Submit a poster abstract by 20 March 2023. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference. 

As this Discussion is being planned as a hybrid event we will be using a dedicated online poster platform to show all posters. Poster presenters who are attending the Discussion in-person will also need to print and display their poster physically. If your poster is accepted for this event, you will receive an email from us with further information for those attending in-person and inviting you log on to the poster platform where you will be able to upload a PDF of your poster.

Additional information

All oral and poster abstracts will be reviewed by the committee. 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 oral or poster presentation.
Registration will open soon

Planning your trip

We encourage delegates who are planning to attend events in person to arrange suitable travel and accommodation insurance, which should include cover for the postponement or cancellation of travel caused by regulations and guidelines relating to Covid-19. We also recommend considering flexible travel and accommodation booking options where possible.

In-person registration includes:
  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Live interaction with delegates attending virtually
  • Attendance at the poster session and access to the virtual poster gallery
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on 31 May 2023
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on 1 June 2023
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussions journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee. 

Virtual registration includes:​
  • Attendance at all scientific sessions via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s virtual conference platform
  • Live interaction with delegates attending in-person and other virtual delegates
  • Access to the virtual poster gallery and exhibitor/sponsor virtual rooms
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussions journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.

Student delegates 

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee is available for students. This fee applies to those undertaking a full-time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 5 months after the meeting) is not included in the student registration fee. Students may purchase a copy of the volume at less than half price. This discounted price is available to delegates when ordering during the registration process, or orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available. 

Accompanying person

If you would like to bring a guest to the conference, this can be done during the registration process. There will be an additional charge which will include all lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner. The fee does not include attendance at any scientific sessions, journal paper pre-prints or the journal volume.


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, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. AssessibilityThe RSC 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.

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


Researcher development grants

If you are an RSC member and a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher based at a higher education or research institution you are eligible to apply for a Researcher development grant.

This grant can provide up to £500 towards activities that will develop your skills and experience as a researcher, which includes participation at conferences, either in-person or virtual.

Applications are processed monthly, with the deadline for each round being the last day of the month, and decisions being sent out by the 21st of the following month. Researcher development grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for carers and Assistance crants.

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).
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2023 Faraday Discussion series

There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document will be available to download from this page with more details and prices soon.

Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2023 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on
Space Telescope Science Institute

Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr, Baltimore, Maryland, 21218, United States

Contact information
Showing all upcoming events
Start Date
End Date
Subject area
Event type


E-mail Enquiry