Eurasia Conference, Opening Shebang

The big auditorium at King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center in the Dead Sea, Jordan, is abuzz as participants of the 11th Eurasia Conference on Chemical Sciences eagerly await the formal opening ceremonies. Here's the program: Jordanian National Anthem Welcome Notes from Musa Nazer, chair of the national organizing committee; Bernd Michael Rode, chair of the international organizing committee; and Adel Tweissi, president of the University of Jordan. Remarks will be followed by the national anthem again and then a reception. Amal Al Aboudi, secretary general of the 11th Eurasia Conference, is giving the first welcoming remarks. Chemistry Cares, the slogan of the conference, is the goal itself, she says, to demonstrate how chemistry is helping people in developing countries improve various areas of their lives. "We take great pride that Jordan is hosting the Eurasia conference for the first time in the Arab world," she says. Musa Nazer is up next. The meeting, he says, underscores the responsibility of chemists to help meet the global challenges facing Earth, such as the depletion of water resources. Included among the challenges, he says, is youthful talent is moving away from chemistry. How to make chemistry attractive and promising to youth needs to be addressed, , he says. Bernd Michael Rode is the next speaker. He is listed in the program with the title Prof. Dr. DDDDr.h.c. I wonder what all those Ds mean. He is one of the founders of the Eurasia conference series. He thanks the King Of Jordan for patronage of the conference. "Eurasia is not only a supercontinent but it is also the continent that is the center of some power, not so much political or military, but of cultural power. All the famous old cultures have been generated and are still existing in the countries of the supercontinent," he says. The idea of a Eurasian conference was to move international meetings to to less prosperous countries so that the youth there--students and junior scientists--can participate and interact with eminent scientists. Nobel laureates have been integral in the program of these conferences. "We show through this conferences that chemistry cares about the development of human resources," he says. Adel Tweissi is the final opening ceremony speaker. He is president of the University of Jordan, which is the organizer of the Eurasia Conference. The conference is testament to Jordan's commitment to developing its human resources, he says. He gives stats about the University of Jordan: 37,000 students, 2/3 of whom are female, and including 4,500 graduate students. The institution is on the way to becoming the first research university in Jordan, he says. COFFEE BREAK. At the small exhibition space outside the plenary meeting hall, SciFinder, Elsevier, and the Royal Society of Chemistry are among those exhibiting in booths.

Author: Maureen Rouhi

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