The Commonwealth is a uniquely diverse group of nations with shared values and a powerful voice. It represents all corners of the globe and is home to 12% of the world’s researchers. With an estimated 60% of its population under the age of 30, the Commonwealth is set to play an ever more important role in the world’s future – a future that will present many challenges where science can identify solutions.
To this end, Commonwealth Chemistry – the Federation of Commonwealth Chemical Sciences Societies – aims to bring together chemists from across the Commonwealth under the banner of equality for all.
The first ever Commonwealth Chemistry Congress was due to be held in May this year, and was to take place in Trinidad and Tobago. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it has been postponed to May 2021.
Dr Robert Parker, Commonwealth Chemistry Executive Board member, said: "We were really sad to have to postpone the first Congress, especially as so much preparation had been done by the local organizing committee led by Michael Forde from the University of the West Indies. We look forward to the time when we will be able to celebrate in person."
In place of the Congress this year Commonwealth Chemistry invited all the delegates to a three-day online poster conference.
Rachel Thompson, Programme Manager for Commonwealth Chemistry at the Royal Society of Chemistry explains:
"The Congress is intended to give equal representation to all Commonwealth countries – however large or small. So each country selected three early career chemists to represent them at the poster conference. The chemists presented their posters in a virtual format, as well as networking with members of the community from across the Commonwealth. We invited all the original Congress delegates, as well as the plenary speakers, meaning that the conference brought together chemists at all career stages from around the globe, to share ideas and make new contacts.
"The list of poster prize winners is a real celebration of the diversity of our community, with our winners coming from a total of 18 different countries."