The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon was established in the year 1971 for the general advancement of the science and practice of Chemistry in Sri Lanka, and is the successor to the Chemical Society of Ceylon founded in 1941. It is the oldest professional body in Sri Lanka and is a nonprofit organisation.
The Golden Jubilee of the Institute was celebrated in 1991 & the Diamond Jubilee in 2001. The 75th Anniversary falls on 25th January 2016. The Logo of the Institute contains the structure of Adamantane, which is a stable molecule that was synthesised in 1941, the founding year of the Institute’s predecessor, the Chemical Society of Ceylon. The Institute has now a 75 year old history and has remained stable like adamantane and has grown from strength to strength over these many years. A dream was realised with the opening of its own headquarters aptly named Adamantane House on 25 February 2005 at Rajagiriya.An extension to Adamantane House was completed in January 2014.
The Institute was declared an approved charity by an Order published by the Hon’ble Minister of Finance in the Government Gazette No. 121 of 26 December 1980. Donations made by any institution or individual to the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon are therefore deductible from the assessable for income tax purposes.
The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon maintains very close links with the Sri Lanka Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK (founded, 1953) and invites the Chairman of the latter body to attend its Council meetings on a regular basis.
The Institute is (since 1980) a member of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPASL) and maintains close contact with numerous other professional and learned bodies in Sri Lanka.
At an international level, the Institute is a founder member of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS, established 1979). Two Executive Committee meetings of FACS have been held in Sri Lanka in 2004 & 2014. It is, since 2009, a full member of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry,(IUPAC). Regular contact is maintained with the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the American Chemical Society and parallel professional bodies in other countries. TheRoyal Society of Chemistry, UK co-ordinates the external moderation/examination of question papers/answer scripts of the Graduateship in Chemistry Examinations conducted by the College of Chemical Sciences, which is the educational arm of the Institute of Chemistry.
The Australian National Chemistry Quiz conducted by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute was conducted in Sri Lanka for the nineteenth consecutive year in July 2015. Students in the Senior Division who answer all questions correctly are annually awarded scholarships to follow the entire Graduateship in Chemistry Programme conducted by the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon free of charge.
The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon also conducts various professional academic and dissemination activities every year. These include Quiz competitions and Titration Competitions amongst school children,Lectures, Orations, Training Seminars, Exhibitions,Industrial visits and Social activities.
However, the principal annual activity is the Annual Session that is conducted every June and enables members to present their research papers at technical sessions. The Annual Session commences with a formal Ceremonial Inauguration, during which the out-going President delivers a Presidential Address and the Annual Awards of the Institute are presented.More recently, it has become the practice to invite a number of foreign scientists to participate in the seminar. In line with these developments regional /international seminars have been conducted from 2005.
This activity reached a peak with the conduct of a fully organized international conference called CHEMTECH in 2007 as part of the 36th Annual Chemistry in Sri Lanka, Vol. 33 No. 1 04 Sessions. Another International Conference on the theme “The Role of Chemistry Research in National Development” was held in June 2012 as part of the 41st Annual Sessions.
In 2014, another International Conference, under the Chairmanship of the late Professor J N O Fernando,was held on the theme “Chemical Education”. A meeting of the Council of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS), of which the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon is a founding member, was also held as a part of this conference in April 2014 at the headquarters of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon at Adamantane House.
Professor S. Sotheeswaran
B.Sc. (Honours, Chemistry, Ceylon), Ph.D. (Hull, UK); D.Sc. (Hull, UK),
Emeritus Professor, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji and
Senior Visiting Professor, College of Chemical Sciences, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon.