Nearly 30 young researchers from the prestigious University of Cambridge and over 90 participants from Warsaw academic centres attended a two days symposium at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. The meeting had an unusual end: Polish and British researchers went skiing together.
For several years already Prof. Janusz Lewiński’s research team from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw has been conducting joint research with the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. The collaboration resulted in a visit in Warsaw of nearly 30 young British researchers from research groups headed by Professors: Oren Scherman, Dominic Wright, and Andrew Wheatley. A two days symposium held at the IPC PAS last weekend turned out to be only a prelude to an integration of Warsaw’s and Cambridge’s academic communities. After closing the symposium, a group of 60 Polish and British researchers went skiing together.
“The conference provided an excellent platform to discuss new and cutting edge science, and reaffirmed just how important it is to integrate the next generation of European scientists. There were over 14 nationalities represented and all the presentations were outstanding. We are very excited to host the second conference in this series in Cambridge in the future!”, said Prof. Oren Scherman.
“The visit in Warsaw of a so large group of young researchers from one of the world’s most prestigious universities and a joint skiing travel combined with scientific activity, allow for integration of academic communities of Warsaw and Cambridge not only on the scientific level, but also on a purely human one. Such meetings bring sooner or later benefits for both parties”, stresses Prof. Lewiński.
Last Friday and Saturday, in a joint symposium in Warsaw, doctoral students, doctors, and postdocs from the University of Cambridge and the IPC PAS discussed different topics in chemistry of materials and nanotechnology, including synthesis of semiconductor nanoparticles and their functionalization towards biomedical applications, polymer self-assembly, activation of small molecules and chemistry of macrocyclic compounds. “In addition to 40 oral communications we found also time for a poster session and for showing our guests the state-of-the-art laboratories and the research equipment at our Institute”, notices Katarzyna Wójcik, PhD Eng (IPC PAS), and stresses that the meeting was open for the entire Warsaw’s academic community.
On last Sunday the groups from Cambridge and Warsaw went skiing for a week in Zuberec, a well-known tourist resort in Slovakia. Chemistry is still present here: besides joint recreation, scientific sessions are the integral part of the trip. “Until now we have been meeting exclusively on a professional ground. Now we have an opportunity not only to share our research experience but also to bind long-lasting friendships”, says Kamil Sokołowski, a doctoral student at the IPC PAS.
The event was organised under the NOBLESSE grant as the 1st Warsaw-Cambridge Young Scientists Meeting “Breaking Boundaries in Chemistry”. It is known now that next year young researchers from both centres will meet first in Cambridge, and then in a joint ski camp.
The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned universities. It can boast of the largest number of Nobel Prize winners: the prestigious prize has been awarded to as many as 65 Cambridge graduates. The list of the present and past researchers affiliated with Cambridge includes well-known names, with physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick and James Watson, discoverers of the DNA structure, Alan Turing, co-founder of computer science, Ernest Rutherford, discoverer of the structure of atomic nucleus, James Clerk Maxwell, author of the first unification of contemporary physics, Charles Darwin, founder of the theory of evolution, Isaac Newton, founder of classical mechanics, to mention a few only.
The Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences belongs to the Academy’s Institutes with the highest visibility. Ranked among the top Poland’s chemical research centres, the IPC PAS employs more than 200 researchers publishing yearly nearly 200 research papers in journals listed in the ISI Master Journal List. The IPC PAS maintains cooperation with more than 40 universities and research institutions from Poland and worldwide, including Germany’s Max-Planck-Institutes, France’s École Normale Supérieure, US Harvard University and UK’s University of Cambridge.
The meeting of chemists from Warsaw and Cambridge was possible thanks to the NOBLESSE grant. The over three million Euro grant is one of the largest grants awarded to a single Polish research institution under the activity “Research Potential” of the 7th European Union Framework Programme. The most important IPC PAS activities implemented currently under the grant include development of scientific contacts of the Institute with international research centres, organisation of international conferences and meetings and setting up of new research teams headed by young researchers. At present, research topics pursued by these teams include quantum nanostructures, biospectroscopy, biosensors and green nanotechnology. The research covered by the grant is conducted with involvement of researchers from over a dozen European countries.
This press release was prepared thanks to the NOBLESSE grant under the activity “Research potential” of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.
The Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (http://www.ichf.edu.pl/) was established in 1955 as one of the first chemical institutes of the PAS. The Institute's scientific profile is strongly related to the newest global trends in the development of physical chemistry and chemical physics. Scientific research is conducted in nine scientific departments. CHEMIPAN R&D Laboratories, operating as part of the Institute, implement, produce and commercialise specialist chemicals to be used, in particular, in agriculture and pharmaceutical industry. The Institute publishes approximately 200 original research papers annually.