I am currently at the EuCheMS in Prague. I am fortunate enough to be involved in two programs that have sponsored my trip - the ACS travel award and the Young Chemist Crossing Borders (YCCB). As everyone is familiar with the ACS, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the European Young Chemists Network (EYCN), which sponsors the YCCB. At the ACS national meeting last fall in Denver, myself and five other Colorado graduate students hosted a group from the EYCN. The EYCN is mostly composed of graduate students with some young professors and professionals. This fall, members of the EYCN are returning the favor and doing an excellent job hosting.
Last night the ACS hosted a dinner at an excellent Czech restaurant and many delegates from the EYCN attended. This gave us ACS students the opportunity to interact with our colleagues in Europe and share our graduate school experiences, among many other things. I finally got a chance to learn more about the EYCN, which is an impressive organization. The EYCN is made up completely of young chemists, under the age of 35. This group of young chemists from across Europe, mostly students, is able to organize and raise all of their funds based on sponsorships from industry. There are delegates from each country, all of the positions are volunteer, and everyone works together. To me, it is an amazing feat that this organization is able to hold such wonderful programs, such as the YCCB, with no central funding source and no permanent or full-time positions. I have really enjoyed getting to know young chemists from across Europe, many of whom at the same point in their career as myself. I look forward to sharing the rest of the week with them as well as my fellow ACS students. The two combined groups are full of bright young chemists who I look forward to being colleagues and friends with in the future.
Short note: This was written at the beginning of the week. I have been recording my experiences as they happen but due to time and a packed schedule, unable to post them immediately.