The 2015 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PAC CHEM TM) is the seventh in the series of successful cosponsored scientific conferences of Pacific Basin Chemical Societies. Founded in 1984, these conferences have been held in Honolulu, Hawaii about every five years. This time, Pacifichem 2015 took place in the same venue, Honolulu, December 15-20, 2015.
The theme of the Pacifichem 2015 was "Networking--Building Bridges across the Pacific", emphasizing the collaborative nature of chemistry as a multidisciplinary science and the opportunities to network with Pan-Pacific research groups at the Pacifichem meetings. And Pacifichem 2015 has 11 Topic Areas under the three major categories, distributed over a wide multidisciplinary area of research chemistry. I. The Core Areas of Chemistry ((1) Analytical (2) Inorganic (3) Macromolecular (4) Organic (5) Physical, Theoretical, & Computational) , II. Multidisciplinary or Cross-Disciplinary Areas of Chemistry ((6) Agrochemistry, Environmental and Geochemistry (7) Biological (8) Materials & Nanoscience), III. Chemistry Solutions to Global Challenges ((9) Chemistry of Clean Energy Conversion, Storage, and Production (10) Bench to Bedside: Chemistry of Health Care (11) Connecting Chemistry to Society)
Quite a few presentations were given and they add up to 16,559, amazingly.
The largest Pacifichem congress
For this time, after the Round Two submission invitation for Symposium Proposal, there were 334 Symposium Proposal approved following the Round One submission invitation in 2013 , showing a rapid increase by 42% from the last Paficichem in 2010., and , which hit the new high record ever. Not surprisingly, the number of Technical Sessions organized by each symposium went up to 1,439, representing a 32-percent increase from the Pacifichem2010.
A call for abstracts of presentations was made January 1,2015, with a deadline of April 15th. This time, all abstracts were to be received through the web system. On the last day of submission, amazingly, we were receiving 200 abstracts per hour. After all, total amount of submissions were 18,070 which is up 35% in 2010. Furthermore, by the final day, we managed to attract a huge number of partifipantstotaled 15,736 from 71 nations around the world (there were 12,520 participants during the previous congress: 26% increase: see Table). With the increased number of lectures, four official hotels were added to the previous three venues, providing seven venues for lectures.
During the Pacifichem 2015, the official shuttle buses were operating between the Hawaii Convention Center and the official Pacifichem hotels every 15-30min , which became the main means of transportation for about 15,700 participants . Although we increased the number of shuttle buses for the convenience of the participants, there was no traffic problem during the congress, and the entire operation ran relatively smoothly.
The conference is sponsored jointly by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), the Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ), the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (NZIC), the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), the Korean Chemical Society (KCS), and the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS). The American Chemical Society is the host society for the 2015 Congress.
The Pacifichem is an international conference held every five years, and jointly sponsored by The American Chemical Society (ACS), the Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ), and the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) are the organizing societies, while the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (NZIC), the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), the Korean Chemical Society (KCS), and the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) are involved as co-sponsors. In 2014, upon agreement among the sponsor societies--ACS, CSC, and CSJ--the Pacifichem was incorporated, creating an organization that would be able to host the Pacifichem safely and stably long into the future. The host society for the Pacifichem 2015 was the American Chemical society, and Professor Peter J. Stang (University of Utah) was the chair. Professor Eiichi Nakamura (The University of Tokyo) of Japan took the position of the vice chair, while Professors Kaoru Yamanouchi (The University of Tokyo), Atsushi Takahara (Kyushu University), Hiroshi Kitagawa (Kyoto University), and executive director Nobuyuki Kawashima (the Chemical Society of Japan) participated as members of the international organizing committee. In addition, about 50 chemistry-related organizations around the Pacific Rim (31 academic societies from Japan) participated as the Official Participating Organization (OPO), contributing to the success of this congress.
Events during the Pacifichem 2015
Onsite registration was opened on December 14 prior to the opening, and there was a long line at the registration at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with a large number of guests, requiring over 30 minutes of registration time in some cases. In contrast, though there were temporary crowds at registrations in other venues, including the Hawaii Convention Center, the process of registration was relatively smooth compared to the previous congress.
On December 15, we started the registration for the student posters, which were to be displayed at noon, at 11 A.M. Checking in 353 finalists selected from over 2,000 candidates through two preliminary rounds was completed smoothly with no more than 10 minutes of waiting time. Two judges were assigned per poster presentation; however, some judges arrived late or left prior to reviewing their assigned posters, leaving many students waiting for their second judge even after two hours. This point should be improved upon in the next congress. Judges commented that the English skill of the Japanese students has improved significantly, and the quality of the presentation and that of the responses during the question-answer sessions were much higher than expected for poster presentations. Because of the careful selection process, 60 winners were chosen, out of which one-third were Japanese students. Winners were invited to the awards luncheon on December 18, where they were awarded with certificates from the organizing committee chair, Peter Stang. The chair, Sadayuki Sakakibara, attended the opening ceremony held at 6 P.M. on December 15, and listened to the plenary lecture by a science writer, Mr. Sam Kean. About 3,000 people attended the reception to celebrate the opening of the congress.
Sessions were held without a hitch from the second day of the congress onwards.
On December 17, we held a joint editorial board for our English publications: Chermistry Letters:CL and Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan:BCSJ . Editors from the USA, Germany, China, and Korea also participated, confirming the objective to be the leading journal on the international stage.
The closing ceremony was held at 2 P.M. on the final day, December 20. This was the first in the history of the Pacifichem, and there were some uncertainties regarding the number of attendees. In the end, over 650 people attended, making the final event a lively occasion.
Members of the Orchestra Chimica (representative: Michio Iwaoka, professor at Tokai University), an orchestra consisting of volunteer Japanese chemists, called for participation by attendees of the Pacifichem 2015, met onsite, and ran rehearsals just before the recital. The orchestra performed during the poster presentations in the evening of the 16th, and presented the attendees of the award luncheon with familiar chamber orchestra music. The closing ceremony was the last opportunity for a performance by the orchestra; however, since the conductor Yoshihide Miyanoya had already returned to Japan, the Organizing Committee vice-chair Eiichi Nakamura, who played flute, persuaded Dr. Eiichi Negishi, who is knowledgeable in music as well, to conduct: a pleasant surprise for all those who attended. Many praised their performance and expressed their desire to see the orchestra play in the future congresses.
In the next congress to be held in 2020, we, the Chemical Society of Japan, will be the host. This congress was a good learning experience, based on which the next congress can be organized.
In addition, as part of the priority--"globalization of chemical societies"--English is being promoted at our society. Presenting lectures in English is considered a stepping-stone towards sharing of research accomplishments with global researchers. We hope that the participants will make an active effort to present their work in English at the annual meetings, and use this meeting as a platform to present their results globally.
Fumio Nakamura (Planning Department, the Chemical Society of Japan)
Table: The number of applications for each area and country (100 or more).
|North and South Americas||The USA||4,034|
|The United Kingdom||320|