Into a Better Future with Chemistry
I would like to start by wishing you the best of luck and health for the New Year. It is my hope you will enjoy every happiness and success. I also want to extend my thanks to all of you for honoring me with the KCS Presidency. It is with joy, but also a heavy sense of responsibility, that I assume my duties.
This year is very special for the KCS as it celebrates its 70th birthday. However, it is also a time when the KCS faces many difficulties, both internal and external. Our task is to turn these challenges into opportunities and to set the stage for another 70 years of growth and excellence. Our mission is to make the society friendly and responsive while upgrading its recognition and status throughout the world. I will do this by increasing interactions with you its members, building specific programs, and fostering improved interdisciplinary communications, including with other professional societies.
As you likely know, the Korean Chemical Society was established almost simultaneous with the Liberation of Korea. Like our country, it has witnessed eye-opening growth so far. Over the last 70 years, the Korean Chemical Society has fulfilled its key role in terms of representing basic and applied chemical science in Korea. In my view, it has continued to improve year by year. Given this tradition of excellence, my goal is to see the KCS codify the advances made to date, while improving still further. The KCS may be mature, but I firmly believe that if we work together well, its brightest days are ahead. With this vision in mind, I will strive to make the society more dynamic while emphasizing our society’s role in national policy debates and within our country as a whole. We want to provide feedback to policy makers, R&D agencies, and common citizens alike. We also want to listen to them since they are our ultimate target audience but also to you our members from whom ideas for a better future must necessarily derive.
Some specific objectives I plan to focus on include working to improve our three-day national meetings held in spring and fall. The national meeting is a core event for our society and must be beneficial for all members. Efforts will be devoted to selecting venues that can better satisfy the demands of our diverse membership. Increasing the quality of presentations, particularly plenary speakers, is a key goal, while also providing the best possible forum for less-established researchers to highlight their work. I also want to continue efforts to improve the quality of the flagship KCS journal such that it meets the highest level of international standards while at the same time advancing its mission of helping our domestic research community.
Another critical area that will receive my attention is chemical and laboratory safety. This is important agenda for industry, academy, and, indeed, across all aspects of Korean life. My goal is to provide leadership such that the KCS can play a critical role in terms of educating policy makers about issues, working with industrial members to recommend appropriate standards, and encouraging the very highest levels of safety in teaching and research laboratories at all levels from schools to state-of-the-art research institutes. The society must provide a voice when necessary but also act as a sounding board for opinions that represent various strata within Korean society. It is important that you appreciate, and hopefully support, my candid desire to have the KCS be a voice of reason for chemistry-related issues that impact society, both directly and indirectly.
I will attempt continuous innovation to maximize the efficiency of the secretariat of the society and will seek the best way to provide full support to the divisions and local branches. This support will include revitalization of activities being carried out at the local level, particularly the active participation of undergraduate students in local branch activities. I will listen to diverse opinions on measures for recruiting and supporting graduate students across multiple regions, since such students are the backbone of research. Here too, an open-minded effort will be made to communicate with other academic societies such that synergistic benefits may be realized. Exchange programs and other cooperative activities with neighboring countries may allow us to improve support for local programs, while establishing a spirit of international cooperation that should foster good will within the international chemical community.
Communication and interaction within the society is essential for the society’s activities. I will make every effort to improve my own interactions with members. I will listen and try to incorporate actively the society’s opinion into policy. Given our bright vision for the future, I have set as a high priority improved member interactions within every segment of the KCS. This is your society. I firmly believe that each member’s concern and advice is essential. It is the foundation for improving the society. Without you we are nothing. However, with your help and assistance, I am convinced that the best is yet to come. I hope and expect to see another 70 years of flourishing chemistry under the KCS. I am grateful and honored that you have given me the honor of leading us forward on the first steps of this exciting journey.
January 1, 2016
Korean Chemistry Society