Wrapping up BRAZIL 2019: Theory, Materials, Microfluidics, She/Her, Natural Products and SBQ-Sul in 2019

 

Copacabana Beach landscape during the 2019-2020 New Year´s Eve

The year of 2019 left us some time ago. In the Southern Hemisphere, end of the year celebrations are different: outdoors, hot and part of the summer holiday season. The Northern Hemisphere still finds it difficult to understand that if it is summer, it is our time of the year to take big holidays. As yet, I will tell you a  secret: the water spins around in the sink in an counterclockwise direction. For us, down here, it is time to wrap up our thoughts, hope for a better year and begin the next one slowly (always keeping an eye on Carnival).

So, to show you all how we closed the year, here are our last events of 2019.

Similar to at the Brazilian Chemical Society Meeting in 2019, where a Women’s Hub was created and a prize named after Prof Dr Vanderlan Bolzani awarded, sections discussing Women in Science issues were held at the BrazMedChem symposium and at the 20th CBCat. Discussion included numbers from Academia (data from CNPq) to show how women are progressing as whole in Chemistry (or Science) but are not achieving as many higher decision-making positions as men. The big question: why is that? There are multiple answers and still lots of discussion to be had.

Prof. Marisa Orth gave a nice overview at the CBCat with numbers from a CNPq database and Prof Heloise Pastore moderated a friendly discussion with the audience. One thing was obvious: men have to take part in this as an important agent to change the future. These numbers corroborate with our recently launched Report on Gender Bias in Publishing.

Later on in September, in a different location (Federal University of Pelotas-UFPel-RS), our recent recipient of the JAAS Lectureship, Prof Marcia Mesko, with the RSC Brazil office’s support, coordinated a panel discussion totally dedicated to diversity and inclusion of women, the “She/Her on Science”, with lectures and panel discussions dedicated to the subject.

With experienced and young female researchers in the discussions [Profs Drs Márcia Barbosa (UFRGS), Maysa Furlan (CAPES and UNESP), Ethel Wilhelm, Lucielli Savegnago,  Márcia Mesko, Mariana Vieira, Rosélia Spanevello (all from UFPel), Laura Fonseca (UFSM), Vanderlan Bolzani (UNESP), Fernanda Staniscuaski (UFRGS), Hellen Stulzer (UFSC), Marina Prigol (UNIPAMPA), Paola Mello (UFSM), Marina Trevisan (UFRGS)], the subjects varied between challenges for young female scientists in the South, parenthood in science, gender equity, awards’ impact, institutional action on gender inclusion and perspectives from new young female talent. We still have a long way to go, but those discussions, happening over and over again, will wake up the world, and especially will wake up women to be present and active in discussions and acts. Support to get support, that is how things change, little by little, grain by grain!

Finally the year ended with five meetings in a row. The RSC office supported them in different ways and the organizers did a very good job in raising awareness of the RSC and our journals. The Brazilian Materials Research Society (B-MRS) organized its annual meeting, the XVIII Brazilian MRS, involving the community of materials research.  It was held in Balneário Camboriú-SC,  September 22-26th, 2019. Parallel sections with varied subjects covering Physics to Chemistry, mixed with Engineering, had the participation of several Latin American Materials Research Societies. RSC promoted J. Mat. Chem. A, J. Mat. Chem. B, J. Mat. Chem. C, Mat. Horizons, Nanoscale and Nanoscale Horizons  and their respective prizes and lectureships there. As a pre-meeting promotion, the RSC organzied a Virtual issue on Materials with authors from Latin America

 

Cristie Luis Kugelmeier-UFSCar (Soft Matter + Biomaterials Sci + Molecular Systems and Design & Engineering £100 cash prize and certificate) for his symposium presentation on “Advances in steel metallurgy and applications”;
Maya Alencar Medeiros-UFSCar (ChemSci £100 book voucher) for her poster  on “Materials and Fabrication Processes for Aeronautic and Space Applications”;
Danilo Waismann Losito-UNIFESP (NanoscaleNanoscale Horinzons + Nanoscale Advances £100 cash prize and certificate) for his symposium presentation on “Molecular Sieves: synthesis and applications”;
Julia Andrea Carpenter-ETH, Switzerland (J. Mat. Chem. A, J. Mat. Chem. B, J. Mat. Chem. C, £100 cash prize and certificate) for his symposium presentation on “Biological, biopolymer-based and bio-inspired materials”; from left to right

 

 

The Microfluidics Workshop that celebrated the long term collaboration between Brazil and Argentina happened in Cordoba, Argentina.

Then the XX Brazilian Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry was held in the Northeast of the country, João Pessoa-PB, where we also provided RSC lanyards as promotional items. The community is broad, varying from calculations for Inorganic/Organic Chemistry and data handling to Analytical Chemistry, in addition to pure Physical Chemistry.

As one of the last events we attended in 2019, the 7th Brazilian Conference on Natural Products was held at a military facility-IME. The Brazilian Army is well known for its intense research on flora and fauna of the country, for surveillance reasons and biodiversity security. So, vast knowledge is held by the military in the natural products area. During the conference, we had an RSC table with lanyards and Prof Peter Leadlay from Cambridge University as one of the highlights of the meeting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                 

 

Discussions on local biodiversity and the future of science with the expected budget constraints were important for the future of the area, which was once pioneering when Brazil was considered a sub-developed country. Now, we have to protect biodiversity and change the way natural products are seen.

The Rio landscape certainly helped:

Finally, at the end of the year, RSC and the British Government joined forces and presented two seminars during the Regional South Meeting of the Brazilian Chemical Society. The meeting was held a UCS (University of Caxias do Sul) a community university. The region is well known for its regional development linked to basic industries and crops, and also a huge German-Italian immigration community.

RSC contributed a How to Publish seminar, talking about the mission and vision of RSC, as well as what our journals can offer for authors in the country, along with other offerings, such as Chemistry World and our databases such as ChemSpider and MarinLit. Afterwards, the Chevening director in Brazil, Dr James Edward, presented the Chevening Brazil program, how these scholarships work and its objectives: to find leaders coming from the hard sciences, who normally don´t apply. The SBQ-Sul was a good audience for both RSC and Chevening. 

Watch our space for 2020!

 

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