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The Hong Kong Chemical Society (HKCS) was established in 1978 with the following objectives: to develop and disseminate knowledge in the chemical sciences, to encourage the useful application of chemical science in Hong Kong, to establish and maintain a high standard of conduct for the chemical profession as a working discipline in Hong Kong, to promotion cooperation among the various chemical sectors in Hong Kong by facilitating the sharing of information, expertise, experience or instruments, and to encourage friendly collaboration among members of the Society with other recognized scientific and engineering societies or institutions.

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Most of the Society members are faculty members from the local tertiary institutions and professional researchers from chemical companies. The Society’s website is located at www.hkchemsoc.org/.

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In December 2008, the United Nations declared 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) and we are all glad that chemistry and its contribution to society and the rest of the sciences is recognized this year. IYC-2011 provides an excellent opportunity to better educate ourselves and the general public about the important roles of chemistry in modern life and chemistry’s continuing role in improving how we will live in the future. In late October 2010, the local steering committee for IYC–Hong Kong was officially formed (Table 1) and our activities will rely heavily on institutional initiatives to organize local and regional activities. As part of the worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well being of humankind, our society will launch our Hong Kong campaign with the unveiling of our IYC-2011 Hong Kong website at www.hkedcity.net/iyc2011 on January 31, 2011. Our series of programs and information for chemistry researchers, chemistry secondary school teachers, secondary and primary school students, and the general public will be mounted throughout the year.

Table 1. Steering committee members of IYC–Hong Kong.
InstitutionRepresentative
The Hong Kong Chemical SocietyProf. Wai-Yeung Wong (Co-Chair)
American Chemical Society (HK Chapter)Dr. Pauline Chiu (Co-Chair)
American Chemical Society (HK Chapter)Prof. David Lee Phillips
The University of Hong KongProf. Guanhua Chen
The Chinese University of Hong KongDr. Qian Miao
The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyDr. Wing Ping Yip
The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityProf. Wing-Tak Wong
City University of Hong KongProf. István T. Horváth
Hong Kong Baptist UniversityProf. Wing-Hong Chan
Hong Kong Education CityMr. Stephen Cheung
Education Bureau, HKSARMr. Raymond Fong
Hong Kong Association for Science and Mathematics EducationMr. William Lam (Secretary) and Mr. Roi Wong

Chemistry is the central science and chemists are architects working at the molecular level. Thanks to chemistry research, many useful and important substances including drugs, food, polymers, household products, and sustainable energy resources have been invented for the betterment of humankind. The IYC-2011 provides a unique platform for the public to share in and understand the excitement and passion of chemists.

For instance, one area that has attracted great attention in recent years is energy research. A major global issue for the world today is dealing with the looming depletion of fossil fuels and the ensuing energy crisis. Scientists are looking for other sustainable energy sources to meet our future energy demands as well as producing a cleaner environment. One of the grand challenges of the 21st century is to develop renewable energy systems that can lead to the efficient and effective utilization of energy. In this context, chemistry will definitely continue to make important contributions to the global energy problem. The innovative design of new molecular materials is very useful in energy-generating (solar cells) and energy-saving (organic light-emitting devices) applications, and we look forward to future developments in these areas with substantial optimism. To harness their strengths and turn the challenges into opportunities, collaborative efforts by colleagues from a variety of disciplines are needed.

Over the years, Asian chemists are playing increasingly vital roles in the development of chemistry research. Since March 2007, the HKCS has been a member of the Asian Chemical Editorial Society (ACES) and has become actively involved in facilitating the growth of and promoting the activities of Chemistry–An Asian Journal (CAJ) published by Wiley-VCH, which is now co-owned by twelve Asian chemical societies in the Asia/Pacific region. In the past five years, CAJ has evolved as a key international journal for chemistry, and is now well-respected and widely-read by researchers in the chemistry community, particularly those in the region. According to the ISI Journal Citation Reports, the growing impact factor of this journal renders it as competitive as other major chemistry journals in the field. As promised, the HKCS has done its best to promote the journal to be an important research output vehicle with high impact and wide readership. Currently, we have one Editorial Board member (Prof. Henry N.-C. Wong) and two International Advisory Board members (Profs. Chi-Ming Che and Dan Yang) for CAJ based in Hong Kong. According to the Annual Report of 2010, Prof. C.-M. Che is also listed as the author who has published the highest number of papers (ca. 18 papers) in this journal (see Table 2 and Figure 1). The Focus Review by Dr. Patrick H. Toy in 2007 (Issue 11) has ranked among the top-downloaded articles for over three years and, impressively, remained one of the top 10 downloaded articles in 2010.

Table 2. Most-published Hong Kong Chemistry Society members in Chemistry–An Asian Journal.
Principal author (number of papers published in parentheses)Affiliation
  1. [a] Member of the International Advisory Board and top author for CAJ from 2006 to 2010. [b] Representative of HKCS in ACES.

Chi-Ming Che[a] (18)The University of Hong Kong
Wai-Yeung Wong[b] (3)Hong Kong Baptist University
Zuowei Xie (2)The Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong
Dennis K.-P. Ng (2)The Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong
Thomas C.-W. Mak (2)The Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong

The IYC-2011 is a once-in-a-lifetime event! It is a chance for everyone in Hong Kong to see how important and relevant chemistry is to the lives of everyone, and that to manage our future and resources well, we need more people to know and learn more chemistry and to invest time and resources in chemistry research. While we are delighted to witness numerous prestigious scientific awards, including the Nobel Prize, conferred to scientists affiliated with Hong Kong in recent years, it is also our goal to nurture and train our next generation to further realize the impact of our scientific heritage. Let’s join in this unprecedented opportunity to celebrate the wonderful past, present, and future of Chemistry in 2011!

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Figure 1. The 2007 (Issue 9) and 2008 (Issue 1) issues of Chemistry--An Asian Journal have front cover pages highlighting the works of Prof. C.-M. Che, a member of the journal’s International Advisory Board.

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Wai-Yeung Wong

Chair Professor in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University

Chairman of the Hong Kong Chemical Society and Co-Chair of the IYC--Hong Kong

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Wai-Yeung Wong

Chair Professor in Chemistry

Chairman of the Hong Kong Chemical Society and Co-Chair fo the IYC--Hong Kong