PT Chem annual meeting


The old-school lecture hall in the chemistry building of Warsaw University of Technology – complete with wooden folding seats, scratched desks and creaking stairs.

This week the Polish Chemical Society (PT Chem) has its annual meeting. This year it’s in Warsaw at the technical university. Despite the fact that for several years now I officially count as chemist, I think this is the first general chemistry conference that I’ve been to. I mean, I’ve attended many electrochemistry meetings and some about analytical chemistry, but never any where they have biochemistry, materials chemistry and … *brrr* … organic chemistry!

I stayed mostly in the electrochemistry and physical chemistry sessions, but there was no avoiding the chemicaller parts during the plenary talks and the poster sessions. I’ve come to realise that there is only a small subset of chem that I can really appreciate. Most of it I simply don’t understand, or, for the life of me can’t force myself to find interesting.1 And that is also – probably – because I don’t know the topic well enough to see why … 2

So twelve years of chemistry (in a Physical Chemistry institute – exposure matters!) has not given me a broader appreciation of chemistry. I still feel my interest in physics is wider than my chemical one… but as my knowledge there is getting shallower by the day maybe it’s only a question of time until it’s all a mystery to me as well.

But for now – still a physicist at heart!

The atrium of Warsaw University of Technology’s main building.
  1. It all being in Polish doesn’t help… some mental effort goes into simply catching the words and not the science.
  2. And frankly, it’s often also the speaker’s fault. Some people have a talent to make anything seem boring as hell!

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