11 Dec 2013
During the long cold winter of 1948, SCI members planned a group dedicated to the promotion of chemical research into specialist chemicals: pharmaceuticals, catalysts, flavours, fragrances, agrochemicals, scale-up and related areas; the Fine Chemicals Group was born. In November 2013, 65 years later, this most active of all SCI groups celebrated its 500th planning meeting.
Our core aim has always been to provide opportunities for the dissemination of chemistry knowledge relevant to industry and academia, and the group has evolved to reflect the changing needs of its members. Twenty three years ago we formed the Young Chemists' Panel which has successfully delivered many meetings with a particular focus on training. Symposia aimed at giving chemists an insight into other areas that impinge on their work such as patents, informatics or ADME have formed another popular series. The group has promoted chemistry in ways the founding fathers (who, records suggest, were indeed all men) could scarcely have imagined. Under the chairmanship of Dr Caroline Low, during the International Year of Chemistry, group members organised lectures on the working lives of chemists to inspire sixth formers, reaching an audience of well over a thousand.
The FCG is a vital part of the chemistry environment in the UK. No other body in Europe delivers such high quality and cost effective symposia across as many diverse chemical topics relevant to business and academia alike. Together with the YCP we hold between twenty and thirty scientific meetings each year. These include conferences on core organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, catalysis, therapeutic area studies, new technologies, graduate and post-graduate symposia, chemical development, new business and much more besides.
So if you are looking for chemistry meetings or training more relevant to your area of interest - make a difference and join us. It is a commitment, but intellectually rewarding, and great fun!
Dr David R Witty
Chair, Fine Chemicals Group