PAN-NANO-2020: a unique event before the crisis

The second Pan-American Nanotechnology Conference

PAN-NANO-2020 happened Mar 4-7, 2020 in Águas de Lindoia-SP, just before the Covid-19 crisis struck Brazil. During that week, we were aware of the situation spreading in the world, but Brazil had just a few cases and social distancing was only a distant idea. Águas de Lindoia has hot springs where people normally go to relax and is attractive due its mild climate. The organizers prepared for the uncertainties (with masks and alcohol-gel), and around 200 attendees, in total, were present. This conference was a joint effort between several engaged institutions with common interests and the same continent, the Americas.

Being “Pan-American”, related to North, South and Central America collectively, the organizers used their common scientific subject, NANO, to create the PAN-NANO event. The purpose was to develop useful and sustainable applications of nanotechnologies throughout the Pan-American region by understanding nanotechnology and nanoparticles’ behavior in biological, chemical and environmental systems.

The Royal Society of Chemistry had already sponsored its first edition, and the journals Nanoscale, Nanoscale Advances, Nanoscale Horizons and Environmental Science: Nano saw a good opportunity to get involved with a such variety of communities, which include Physicists, Chemists and Engineers. 

RSC supported Prof Rebecca Kapler (U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee), who gave a plenary talk on Interactions at the Nano-Bio Interface Across Biological Systems. The talk showed the significant variation in these interactions due to differences in the biological characteristics of organisms and the environments where they are found. She highlighted how it is necessary to probe the molecular interactions that occur at the interface of the nanomaterial and the places where the material comes in contact with the organism. In addition, she discussed the molecular interaction of nanomaterials across species. On the same day, RSC promoted a special Meet the Editor event, in a “Pint-of-Science” like format, to attract the audience and encourage them to have a beer and relax during the discussions. 

Elizabeth and Rebecca gave an overview of RSC, promoted the main RSC journals in the area, as well databases and books. Finally, Prof Rebecca gave general tips on how to submit and write, giving inside information on the article life cycle. Some slides supported the talk, but the audience got involved in a vivid discussion on publication motivation; Editors’ expectations; and the importance of showing novelty, comparing with the existing work and including backup citations.

Finally, at the end of the conference, RSC awarded two poster prizes, each consisting of £100 book voucher and certificate from Nanoscale and Environmental Science: Nano. We would like to congratulate the winners shown below receiving their prizes at the closing ceremony:

Poster prize winners with Prof Debora Frigi Rodrigues (Houston University), the winners Kayla Kurtz (University of Rhode Island) and Izaac Sit (University of California, San Diego), and also Profs Rebecca Klaper (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Isabel C. Escobar (University of Kentucky) and Ademar Benevolo Lugão (IPEN/CNEN).

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