Slovak Chemical Society – main agenda, domestic and international actions

Dear European chemical community, as the President of the Slovak Chemical Society (abbreviated SChemS), I would like to shortly introduce our society for EuChemS members and magazine readers. The SChemS stands as the largest and oldest professional society in Slovakia, which was established in 1929. It proudly holds memberships in EuChemS, Chemistry Europe, and IUPAC. Presently, it unites almost 900 chemists who are distributed among 29 professional groups from various regions across Slovakia. Our primary objective is to foster unity among all chemists in Slovakia who are dedicated to education, science, research, and industry. This is achieved through the organization of conferences and seminars, active support for popular lectures, the Chemistry Olympiad, and other initiatives. SChemS is also committed to acknowledging and awarding talented chemistry students through various competitions.
Ľubomír Švorc,
Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia

One of the enduring events of SChemS is the Congress of Chemists, a traditional gathering held annually either in Slovakia or in the Czech Republic in collaboration with the Czech Chemical Society, consistently attracting several hundred chemists. In Slovakia, the congress has become a tradition in the charming surroundings of the High Tatras since 2005. This congress has featured Nobel laureates who were awarded the Gold Medal of the SChemS, like Prof. Bernard Lucas Feringa, Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, Prof. Gerhard Ertl, and Prof. Ahmed Zewail. Notable Slovak scientists, such as Dr. Pavol Čekan, and those with Slovak roots, like Prof. Philipp Kukura, contributed to the event recently. Maintaining the longstanding tradition, these congresses are renowned for delivering a rich professional and social program and fostering a pleasant and hearty atmosphere for Slovak and Czech chemists amidst the stunning surroundings of the High Tatras.

Since 2005, SChemS has been organizing the Chemical Horizons lecture series, where Slovak chemists present their noteworthy findings in a popularizing style towards the broader chemical community. The ChemZi magazine, published biannually by the SChemS, serves as a regular source of information on the society’s activities and events. It contains research articles, popular scientific works, and commemorates eminent Slovak chemists and their milestones. Starting from 2024, the ChemZi magazine will be presented under the new title ChemZi – Chemické zvesti. Under the auspices of the SChemS, Chemistry Olympiads and Chemistry Summer Schools are regularly conducted for secondary and elementary schools. Supporting the interest of young students in chemistry stands as one of primary objectives of the SChemS.

SChemS is part of the Chemistry Europe consortium offering a network of highest-ranking chemical journals and representing a community of more than 75,000 chemists. The Slovak National Committee of IUPAC operates under the auspices of SChemS promoting sustainable development, establishing a common language for chemistry, and facilitating the free exchange of scientific information. Established in 2018, the SChemS Youth Forum is a collective of young chemists actively engaged in diverse projects aimed at fostering collaboration and enhancing communication among students and young chemists across all branches of chemistry in Slovakia and cooperating closely with the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN).

The Heyrovsky-Ilkovic-Nernst (HIN) Lectureship symbolizes the trilateral collaboration established in 2002 by the German Chemical Society, SChemS, and the Czech Chemical Society. These lectures are designed to foster and enhance relationships among universities and research institutions in Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Over the past decade, distinguished electrochemists such as Prof. Frank-Michael Matysik, Prof. Lothar Dunsch, Prof. Wolfgang Schuhmann, Prof. Fred Lisdat, and Prof. Christine Kranz have visited Slovakia as part of the HIN Lectureship. In our society, we take pride in the fact that Prof. Ján Labuda (2011), Prof. Ernest Beinrohr (2020) and Prof. Ján Híveš (2023) were honoured with the HIN lectureship.

Aligned with our guiding motto, “Chemistry binds us together” we are dedicated to enhancing and optimizing collaborative endeavours among distinct institutions engaged in the realms of chemistry in Slovakia. SChemS also strives to inform the non-chemical public about the inherent connection between contemporary life and ongoing advancements in chemistry. It is crucial to recognize that chemistry in Slovakia is not an enemy, as it is sometimes portrayed, especially in chemophobic surroundings. Slovak chemists are also aware of their responsibility to future generations and the environment in their effort for novel methods and materials, all while contributing to the continual improvement of living standards. Chemistry has, and continues to hold a significant position in Slovakia.

As the President of the SChemS over the period of 2023-2026, my objective is to build upon and extend the successful initiatives and agenda established by our society during the tenures of former presidents such as Assoc. Prof. Monika Jerigová, Prof. Dušan Velič (†2023), Prof. Peter Šimon, Prof. Viktor Milata, Dr. Mária Omastová, and other distinguished leaders. At the same time, I greatly appreciate the work and endeavours of all chemists, scientists, chemistry teachers and experts from chemical industry as well as talented chemistry students for keeping the European chemical community strong.

Laureate of the Gold Medal of the SChemS – Dr. Pavol Čekan from MultiplexDX International with Assoc. Prof. Monika Jerigová and Prof. Ľubomír Švorc (73rd Annual Congress of Chemists in 2021)
Laureate of the Gold Medal of the SChemS – Prof. Philipp Kukura from University of Oxford with Assoc. Prof. Monika Jerigová and Prof. Ľubomír Švorc (75th Annual Congress of Chemists in 2023)