Euroanalysis XV, 2009: The European conference on analytical chemistry
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Euroanalysis has become one of the most important broad-spectrum analytical conference series covering essentially all aspects of analytical sciences. It is held every 2 years in different European countries and is organized under the umbrella of the Division of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) of the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS).
In 2009 this conference was arranged by the Austrian Society of Analytical Chemistry (ASAC) represented by the chairmen Wolfgang Buchberger and Wolfgang Lindner. Euroanalysis had previously been organized successfully by ASAC in Vienna in 1990. For its return to Austria, Innsbruck had been chosen as the venue, where the convention center ‘Congress Innsbruck’ provided a perfect environment.
Despite some fears of negative impacts due to the economic crisis in 2009, the number of participants was as high as in previous conferences of this series. The organizers welcomed approximately 700 delegates from 53 countries with Spain, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, and Italy being the top six regarding participants. We were particularly proud to welcome more than 200 students from all over the world, which gave the conference a very dynamic and lively atmosphere. About 60 travel grants were provided as financial support for young analytical chemists.
Under the motto “The Impact of Analytical Chemistry on Quality of Life”, 130 lectures and 640 poster presentations resulted in a very attractive program which covered practically all areas of analytical sciences. In accordance with the intentions expressed at the foundation of the Euroanalysis series, the conference gave an excellent overview of the advances in the various areas of analytical sciences and stimulated communication between analytical chemists working in quite diverse fields. This fact was also reflected by the various plenary lectures including “Proteomics—a Tool in Personalized Medicine?” (F. Lottspeich), “The Environmental Challenge for Analytical Sciences” (M. Grasserbauer), “Nanoanalytics—Probing Matter at the Atomic Scale” (H. Fuchs), “Ionics. A New Paradigm in Ion Detection in Solution” (P. K. Dasgupta), “Plus Lucis: Advanced Waveguides for Enhanced Infrared Diagnostics” (B. Mizaikoff), “Microarray Technology—Current Status and Trends” (R. Niessner), “LCxLC: Liquid Chromatography Enters a New Dimension” (P. Schoenmakers), and “New Stationary Phases for Enrichment and Separation Technologies in the -Omics Area—a Challenge in Analytical Separation Science” (G. Bonn). The broad spectrum of technological and thematic issues of the scientific program was covered by triple sessions starting with well-received keynote lectures. In keeping with tradition, we also had a session on education as we regard it as an important aspect of this symposium series.
Obviously, modern analytical sciences do not simply aim at providing qualitative and quantitative results but also focus on the development of new strategies for efficient problem solving as well as on interpretation of data obtained by state-of-the-art techniques. The current trend to divide analytical sciences into a range of subdisciplines may be less beneficial for further progress in this area. Therefore, broad-spectrum conferences like Euroanalysis had and will have their place beside other more specialized meetings in order to communicate a more comprehensive picture of current analytical sciences.
Euroanalysis 2009 was also selected as the perfect stage to honor outstanding scientists with the most prestigious awards of ASAC. The Pregl Medal was awarded to F. Lottspeich (Max Planck Institute, Martinsried, Germany), and the Emich Plaque to H. Fuchs (University Muenster, Germany). Furthermore, W. Lindner was presented with the Martin Gold Medal of the Chromatographic Society.
The Robert Kellner Lecture Award—established by the Division of Analytical Chemistry of EuCheMS and sponsored by Springer-Heidelberg in memory of the efforts and achievements of the late Robert Kellner from Vienna University of Technology towards the consolidation of Analytical Chemistry in Europe—was presented to B. Mizaikoff (University Ulm, Germany).
Besides the scientific program, the Euroanalysis party provided ample opportunity for socializing and networking and was very well received by all the participants, including the exhibitors.
We wish to thank Ina Kaehler of Tyrol Congress for her highly appreciated engagement in making Euroanalysis 2009 a success. We are particularly grateful to all the sponsors as well as the many students and colleagues who helped us enthusiastically to organize Euroanalysis 2009 in Innsbruck and to make it a memorable symposium.