The Chemical Society of Japan : Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry (DCSC)

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Message from President

I have been appointed president of the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry for the year 2019-2020. While I alone may not have the skills required to manage this important role, I am backed by three vice presidents. It is with their assistance that I intend to operate the division. My team of three vice presidents is exceedingly well-balanced. First is Mr. Yutaka Abe of Lion Corporation, who is well-versed in financial affairs, has an eye for details, and is an expert in laying the groundworks. Next is Professor Hideki Sakai of Tokyo University of Science. He has vast experience in running academic societies, and works efficiently with any committee. Lastly, Professor Shigeru Deguchi of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology is a charismatic leader who draws in mid-level and junior researchers with his exceptional energy. Dynamizing the division will become increasingly important. Thus, I intend to apply myself toward expanding the division.

The Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry has a long history, dating back to its inception over 40 years ago. Currently, it boasts about 1,000 active members. Colloid and surface chemistry is generally classified into physical chemistry, so our division does include experts in this field. Yet, we also have specialists from multiple diverse fields, including polymer science, catalytic chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical engineering, and soft matter physics. Thus, our division is part of a cross-sectional, interdisciplinary research organization, serving as an “interface between various research fields.” Therefore, I sincerely hope that you will consider joining our division, as I believe your research topics align closely with ours.

Our division’s activities revolve around various committees, which are balanced between researchers from universities and public institutions, and researchers from companies. Let me introduce one of our distinctive strengths: the activities of the Company Members and the Project Planning Committees. The Company Members Committee organizes the Colloid and Interface Technical Forum, at which participants learn about the latest trends in various research field. The forum is held over two days and one night. Thus, in addition to deepening knowledge of the latest innovations, attendees have the opportunity to cultivate relations with both lecturers and fellow participants. Moreover, “Experience Real Science Through Experiments: Colloids” is held for students in upper elementary school grades. This event takes place at the Divisional Meeting on Colloid and Interface Chemistry. Our venue changes every year; thus, preparations take a great deal of effort. Nevertheless (thanks to volunteerism by members of the Company Members Committee), we have been able to popularize colloid and surface chemistry. The Project Planning Committee (which comprises more than 50 members) also has participants from many companies, and organizes various seminars. Examples are “Lectures on Advanced Colloid Technology” and “The Colloid Technology Symposium.” Additionally, a basic course on colloid and interface chemistry (“Colloid Learning”) is organized for junior researchers of companies at venues in Tokyo and Osaka.

The division actively engages in activities to foster and energize young researchers. For example, the Young Members Working Group (WG) holds the Young Researchers’ Conference for Cultivating Futuristic Colloid and Surface Chemistry. At this gathering, young researchers interact with attendees from different fields, broadening their horizons through in-depth discussion of the latest research. Further, at the conference, the WG presents the Junior Lectureship Award. In the “Interface” section, our quarterly journal (Colloid & Interface Communication) publishes articles introducing the latest research. Many of the journal’s items (including those describing recipients of the Young Lectureship Award) specifically introduce research by young investigators. Thereby, a forum is created to showcase these members.

Our two-year focus is to successfully host the 70th Commemorative International Conference (entitled “Okinawa Colloids 2019”) in early November 2019. Preparations for the conference (including program compilation and venue arrangements) have been progressing steadily. We thank Professor Deguchi (Chair of the Executive Committee) for his guidance in this area. He notes that one of the conference’s goals is to promote interaction between the division’s mid-level and junior members. These members, along with international researchers from the same generation, will carry the division into the future. Therefore, we want attendees to develop friendly relations with international researchers by presenting the outcomes of their latest research in Okinawa. In addition, improving the registration system used for the divisional meeting (the division’s most important events) is a significant agenda item. We intend to update the system, thus reducing the burden on the executive committee which organizes the meetings. Please mark your calendars, and save the date for the 2020 conference, to be held from September 14th to the 16th at Tohoku University. Professor Kiyoshi Kanie of Tohoku University is serving as the chair of the organization committee.

Researchers from various fields are realizing the significance of surfaces and interfaces. Clearly, we have entered an era that will allow us to witness new phenomena related to different surfaces and interfaces. To put it simply, the division has drastically increasing opportunities for active contribution. Allow me to conclude this address by paraphrasing Prof. Richard Feynman: “There’s plenty of room at the interface.”

Takeshi Kawai

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