In the past decade, the political and economic integration of the European Countries has become reality. Science and Technology Development plays an important role as part of the ongoing consolidation, and scientific innovation is one of the mainstays of the wealth of Europe.
For many scientific disciplines, national societies exist. In order to parallel the European integration process, the establishment of EU umbrella organisations is now necessary, such as that of the Federation of the European Chemical Societies (FECS). We feel that the foundation of such umbrella organisations is also needed for the various divisions of the chemical sciences. This is specifically true for Separation Science which - with chromatography and electrophoresis as main branches - plays a fundamental role in designing analytical tools for all branches of chemistry and in creating interfaces to other science areas as diverse as biology, medicine, toxicology, and the pharmaceutical, food, agricultural and environmental sciences. In fact, separation science with its tremendous potential of data acquisition, data handling and correlation to ancillary data, is most often used to decode the molecular complexity of natural or man-made systems. By utilising this potential, the human mind can generate validated data bases for bio-informatics, and industrial and legal purposes. In order to master the tremendous technical variability - and potential - of separation science and to recognise and understand mechanistic and quantitative relationships, scientific excellency is a prerequisite.
The foundation of EuSSS is meant to be an instrument to reach those goals, and also to give separation science a better visibility and sharper profile in the public arena.
The goals we want to achieve with the foundation of EuSSS are:
- To establish an umbrella for the national societies on separation science or chromatography, in order to consolidate and unify the intellectual potential of scientists from different countries and to give them a clear voice within the international community, also in respect to the science-policy in Europe, both on a national and international level.
- To help the scientific community to have an appropriate voice for identifying needs of the society and in setting priorities of research funding at the national and EU level.
- To promote the formation of international networks for the efficient spreading of technical knowledge, for setting up scientific programmes, and for fostering academic/industrial co-operations.
- To harmonise national educational programmes and ensure proper conditions for academic training in separation science, in view of the new European bachelor and masters curricula.
To reach these goals, the following actions are required:
To organise a board of representatives of the national (and, if appropriate, regional) societies to discuss, organise and publicise workshops, symposia and conferences in Europe.
To constitute circles and groups of experts who actively identify, promote, and suggest the scope and priorities of research funding in the European Union.
To establish information schemes for broader recognition of the importance of separation science in the industrial, commercial, medical and public arena.
To raise funds for the conception and continuous upgrading of academic training programmes adjusted to the demands and necessities in adjoining areas of the practical applications of separations science.
We believe that separation scientists, as responsible citizens, must become more involved in the political-scientific decision making, in order to maintain the innovation-driven atmosphere in our countries. Europe as a whole will thrive best when the human capital, i.e. the scientific innovative potential, is utilised to its best advantage. This should be the general mission of a European Society for Separation Science. Its goals and actions must continuously be adjusted and redefined as scientific paradigms develop and change. In addition, EuSSS may serve as the nucleus for a Europe-wide crystallisation processes in other scientific disciplines.
Innsbruck/Bayreuth, 01 September 2002.