Floris Rutjes, Radboud University, The Netherlands, and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV), took up his mandate as EuChemS President for three years in January 2021. A perfect time for an interview, thought the editors of the KNCV and Royal Flemish Chemical Society (KVCV) membership magazine. They talked to him about national chemical societies, EuChemS, and how to make them even more attractive.
Floris Rutjes advises membership in a national chemical society if you are committed to chemistry in the broadest sense, are interested in what is happening in the chemical world, and think it is important to make the influence of chemistry and chemists visible in society.
“EuChemS is a bit of a strange organization,” he says, describing its differences from national chemical societies. There are no individual members, it is an umbrella organization with only associations as members. On the other hand, it represents a lot of members and is heavily involved in European politics. “For example, we organize events where we bring scientists and members of the European Parliament into contact with each other.”
The distance between the EuChemS organization and the chemist is many times greater than with national societies. “EuChemS is not really in the minds of many people. That’s a problem, of course, when you say you represent all these members.” Floris Rutjes has set out to work on name awareness and visibility during his presidency. Another goal is to further promote the exchange of information between the various national chemical societies and to think about what tangible benefits could be created for the members of the national associations by organizing things that do not exist yet.
As a member of one of the societies belonging to EuChemS, you can become a delegate to the various EuChemS divisions and working groups. Delegates also act as ambassadors for EuChemS within the national societies. Within the EuChemS divisions and working groups, they organize congresses and help develop many other initiatives. The next European Chemistry Congress (ECC) will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2022. It is the most comprehensive European chemistry congress there is, and every European chemist should attend.
Becoming more visible is an important goal, (English translation)
- Zichtbaarder worden is een belangrijk doel, (in Dutch)
MeMo 2021, 3, 50–53.
Also of Interest
- New EuChemS Presiden,
Floris Rutjes, Radboud University, the Netherlands, has been elected president of EuChemS