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Chemical societies to host inaugural ABCChem

by Linda Wang
September 4, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 35

Iberostar Cancún hotel.
Credit: Shutterstock
Iberostar Cancún hotel.

Abstracts are now being accepted for the inaugural Atlantic Basin Conference on Chemistry (ABCChem), which will take place Jan. 23–26, 2018, at the Peninsula Convention Center at the Iberostar Cancún hotel in Cancún, Mexico.

ABCChem at a glance

Dates: Jan. 23–26, 2018

Location: Cancún, Mexico



“This event will bring together chemists, chemical engineers, and other allied professionals from around the Atlantic Basin to present their research, network, and collaborate with their colleagues in the region and beyond,” says ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Connelly.

The American Chemical Society is among the eight chemical societies launching this new conference and one of five sponsoring it. The other sponsoring societies are the European Association for Chemical & Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS), the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Mexican Chemical Society, and the Brazilian Chemical Society. Participating societies are the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry, the Latin American Federation of Chemical Associations, and the South African Chemical Institute.

“We hope to have an event that fosters networking, communication, and sharing of knowledge across the region,” says Elsa Reichmanis of Georgia Tech, who chairs the Sponsors Committee and is a past-president of ACS. “We aim to build closer ties with our colleagues and initiate research collaborations and other scientific exchanges.”

The technical program will focus on four themes: Chemistry in Biology, Green Chemistry, Materials & Nano Chemistry, and Physical & Analytical Chemistry. Plenary speakers include Avelino Corma of Spain’s Institute of Chemical Technology, Fernando Galembeck of the University of Campinas, Laura Kiessling of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Jorge Peón Peralta of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Invited speakers include Jillian Buriak of the University of Alberta, Luisa De Cola of the University of Strasbourg, Prashant Kamat of the University of Notre Dame, Tebello Nyokong of Rhodes University, and Teri Odom of Northwestern University.

“We have handpicked a terrific lineup of engaging speakers who we believe can speak for the field and help connect the worlds of chemistry together,” says Paul Weiss, Technical Programming Committee chair and editor of ACS Nano. “A number of the speakers are also ACS journal editors so that we can continue to bring together these communities and can disseminate what we find at the meeting.”

“The program, which is led by outstanding speakers from the participating societies, has been designed to showcase science from all the relevant regions in themed symposia, so there will be something for everyone,” says David Cole-Hamilton, president of EuCheMS. “You will hear from world experts, but you also have the opportunity to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations.”

Organizers envision for ABCChem to take place every five years and expect the inaugural meeting to draw approximately 500 chemical professionals from around the Atlantic Basin region.

“One has to see the success of the Pacific Basin conference, which is held in Hawaii every five years, to appreciate that certain meetings are preferred by certain groups of scientists,” says María del Jesús Rosales Hoz, the incoming president of the Mexican Chemical Society. “Exchange of ideas between scientists coming from nations with different degrees of development may promote international scientific projects beneficial to the different groups participating.”

“I like the concept of a meeting that is multinational by design and hope that it grows in diversity and number of participants,” says Hans-Peter Loock, a director of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. “While the governments of some of the participating countries are eager to point out the differences between us, I know that we chemists realize that we have so much more in common.”

“International collaboration makes a difference in the development of science,” says Aldo José Gorgatti Zarbin, president of the Brazilian Chemical Society. “The cultural differences between scientists can show different ways to see the scientific problem, improving the quality of the results.”

Abstracts are being accepted until Sept. 18. Registration for the meeting is now open. The fee for members is $450. The fee for nonmembers is $550. The fee for students is $250. To submit an abstract or to register for the meeting, visit


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