This Summer School represents a turning point for a new kind of outreach, looking at the scientific progress of developing countries, among other things.
The 13th Green Chemistry Postgraduate Summer School was held for the first time in a hybrid way, both online and in-person in Venice from 4th to 9th July 2021, as a result of the still ongoing situation related to the Covid-19 pandemic and some limitations on travelers’ mobility. The Summer School was an international initiative organized and managed by the Green Sciences for Sustainable Development (GSSD) Foundation, a non-profit Foundation established in February 2020 and based in Venice, Italy.
This 13th edition of the Green Chemistry Postgraduate Summer Schools follows the 12 previous editions, of which the last one was held completely online in July 2020.
‘Love’ for green chemistry
The experience from the past 12 editions of the Summer School on Green Chemistry, held from 1997-2020 with more than 1,000 students attending, tells us that young people are particularly attracted by Green Chemistry, because they look at it as a means to invest their talent at a particular, strategic moment of their lives. Green Chemistry is a good key for students to look around the scientific disciplines and to decide how and where to go forward.
Thanks to the participation of the sponsors, 60 postgraduate students attending online the School and 15 attending in-person in Venice, coming from developing countries, have been awarded with a scholarship.
170 applications, 130 selected
In total, 170 applications were received and 130 were considered eligible to attend the school after a strict selection made by the 9 members of the International Scientific Committee, and based on their CVs, their list of publications, the recommendation letters from their tutor and their motivations to attend the Summer School.
From these 130 selected postgraduate attendees coming from 39 different countries, 15 PhD students attended in-person in Venice; from the 34 teachers from all over the world, 10 participated in-person in the Summer School. We also had the pleasure and honor of hosting the Nobel Prize Jean-Marie Lehn, who gave his lecture online just after the Opening Ceremony.
Exchanging knowledge for projects, research
The rigorous selection of the participants contributed to form a class of high cultural level students, who certainly find themselves at a point of their life where they are ready to invest their talents and scientific know-how for their future professional careers in a mature and responsible way. The top-level and diverse range of topics offered at the Summer School provided them the chance to look around, exchange their scientific knowledge and establish important links with other participants and professors for fruitful joint projects and research activities.
This was a real success for this Summer School, since this opportunity will speed up the participants’ careers as it occurred in the past. In fact, year after year the Summer School has formed an important class of Alumni, and three of them who now occupy important positions in their respective countries, came back to the School as professors:
- Prof. Peter Licence, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom,
- Prof. Fabio Aricò, Professor of organic Chemistry, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy
- Dr. Aurelia Visa, Romanian Academy “Coriolan Drăgulescu” Institute of Chemistry, Timisoara, Romania
The 13 lectures, 8 poster sessions
All the lectures were recorded and are available for registered participants on the Green Sciences for Sustainable Development Foundation’s website. The recordings could also be shared with those who request them.
The Summer School hosted 13 lecture sessions and 8 poster sessions on the following main topics:
- Exploitation of renewable resources
- New reaction pathways
- Energy saving
- Food safety
- Climate Change damages mitigation
Summer School as a turning point
This Summer School in hybrid delivery way was of course more challenging than ever: we wanted to have a school that can be joined in person and online for those who cannot come to Venice yet. We tried to engage the participants with the outstanding scientific quality of the teachers, involving them in the discussion of the lectures and, not less important, through the poster sessions.
From the outcomes of this hybrid Summer School, we learned on how to manage the future Schools in Venice, which will become permanent; the Green Sciences for Sustainable Development Foundation will surely support and follow the activities of this initiative. This Summer School represents a turning point for a new kind of outreach, considering the high quality of scientific contributions, the Green Deal and the fast scientific progress of developing countries.
Our goal is to make the Summer School a permanent event, to be held every Summer in Venice, and thanks to the involvement and the participation of outstanding teachers and partners we are making this objective real.
The School was held in collaboration with IUPAC – Interdivisional Committee of Green Chemistry for Sustainable Development, ICGCSD, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Italian National Commission for UNESCO Roma. The event was endorsed by the Ministry of the Ecological Transition (Ministero della Transizione Ecologica), AIRI (Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca Industriale), the European Chemical Society – EuChemS, the UNESCO UNITWIN and TWAS Networks, the Veneto Region and the Municipality of Venice. The Summer School was sponsored by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – OPCW, PhosAgro Russia, the Royal Society of Chemistry and GreeNovator.