The ECTN General Assembly took place in Prague on 18-22 April 2018 along with meetings of the ECTN Standing Committees and Working Groups. The Assembly was decidedly pan-European, with participation supported by chemists from the United States to Russia. The meeting was opened by Prof Pavel Matějka, the Vice-Rector of University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague and by Prof. Pilar Goya Laza, President of the European Chemical Society – EuChemS.
The invited plenary lecture on “IUPAC and its role in chemistry education and chemistry research activities” was given by Prof Chris Brett (IUPAC Vice President/President-Elect). Keynote lectures were given by Prof Reiner Salzer, ECTN Label Committee Chair on ‘’Employment survey news, collaboration with EuChemS and ACS’’ and by Dr Hugo Kittel, UCT Prague, Operational Programme Manager on ‘’Teaching project approach in technologically oriented subjects’’. Dr Lily Raines, Manager, Office of Science Outreach of the American Chemical Society (ACS) organised a workshop on ‘’ACS Chemistry Festivals’’, with many practical and entertaining chemistry experiments.
Prof Emmanuel Sinagra was sworn in as the new ECTN president and Prof Leo Gros was elected as Chair of the Standing Committee on Quality Standards in Teaching – a new Standing Committee. During the meeting there were broad discussions on the many ECTN activities, including the “accreditation” activity in the field of awarding the “Eurolables” to quality chemical HEI programmes, the vast scheme of internet based chemistry examination tests “eChem Tests”, and the database “Mobicchems (Transparency)”, the latter which enables students to choose suitable study programmes abroad (e.g. for the Erasmus exchange stay).
In addition, the video-based Module for teaching “Ethics to Chemists”, the Course for laboratory teachers “Teaching in University Science Laboratories”, the Lecturing Qualifications and innovative teaching methods were presented and discussed. And last but not least, the “student-oriented activities” that support the quality of education in chemistry at secondary school level was also presented and debated.
Prof Chris Brett, President-Elect of IUPAC, was awarded the Medal of the Czech Chemical Society, the highest award of the Society.
Pavel Drašar, ECTN Vice-President