The HRSMC Synthesis School held in July 5-8 in Kloosterhotel Willibrordhaeghe was a great succes!
After several months of uncertaintly, at the end of May the plunge was taken for a unanimous GO for the 6th edition of the HRSMC 4-yearly Organic Synthesis School. Altogether 61 participants from academia and industry gathered together in the former monastery Willibrordhaeghe in Deurne (outback).
All foreign speakers lectured via Zoom and that went technically perfect. Because no travelling was required we could even get the current God in synthetic methodology development, Phil Baran from the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, USA), as a lecturer in the course.
He was preceeded by Daniele Leonori (Manchester, UK) so we luckily had a decent introduction in SET-reaction mechanisms. Biocatalysis (Francesca Paradisi, Geneva), Cascade reactions (Geraldine Masson, Gif-Sur-Yvette), Carbohydrate synthesis (Tom Wennekes, Utrecht), Medicinal Chemistry (Anita Wegert, Symeres Nijmegen), Mechanically Interlocked Molecules (myself) and Flow chemistry (Tim Noël, HIMS) were the other topics.
Because all lectures ended with an interactive problem solving session all knew knowledge had to applied. Never before we had such an enthusiastic participation during the poster sessions. We all felt like prisoners just released from jail.
For Laura it was her first time to assist, together with Ineke, in streamlining the local organization. She was especially responsible for the technology and it all went very well. From home Rachel took care of the Zoom issues. In Deurne the current generation of the Dutch PhD students met and became friends and maybe partners in fruitful collaborations all over the country. The participants from industry had the ability to meet their future colleagues making it an ultimate networking event.
It is a real pity that we have to wait four years for the next edition!
Jan van Maarseveen, chairman of the HRSMC Synthesis School 2021