Williams and Williams in opening set

Not Venus and Serena in tennis, but Ian and Jon in chemistry!

In his role as chair of the Scientific Committee, Professor Ian Williams (pictured) officially opened the 21st International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry which took place last week in Durham, the culmination of over four years’ planning. Last held in the UK in 1978, this premier event runs biennially under the auspices of the International union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s Subcommittee on Structural and Mechanistic Chemistry on which he serves. Besides later presenting a scientific talk and poster, he also gave the closing remarks at the conference.

As winner of the 2011 Royal Society of Chemistry Homogeneous Catalysis Award, Professor Jon Williams, also of the Department of Chemistry, stepped up to the mark at very short notice to present the opening plenary lecture of the conference in place of a Nobel Laureate who was unable to attend at the last moment.

Bath’s Department of Chemistry was also represented by Drs Dan Pantoş and Sofia Pascu, who each spoke in a symposium to honour their former mentor, Jeremy Sanders, FRS, now a Pro-VC at Cambridge University and previously chair of the 2008 Chemistry RAE panel. Finally, PhD student Catherine Lyall gave a “flash” oral presentation of her poster reporting work with her supervisor Dr Simon Lewis.

The conference was attended by over 300 participants from about 40 countries and included 285 separate scientific contributions. The next edition, ICPOC22, will be held in Ottawa in 2014.

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