The year 2016 is a memorable year for the Institute of Chemistry as we are completing 75 years of our existence. In January 26th of the year 1941 our for fathers established Ceylon Chemical Society which was transformed to Institute of Chemistry in the year 1971 with act of Parliament in 1972 as Institute of Chemistry , Ceylon. I consider it as an honour and more significant for me to serve the institute as the president of this memorable year, as I am one of the few who joined for the very first batch of Graduateship in Chemistry Course initiated by the institute in the year 1979 and to be the president of the institute at its 75th anniversary and 45th Annual sessions. I must thank all my teachers of IChemC /CCS in particular Prof JNO Fernando and Prof E R Jansz two main pillars who set the foundation of current CCS/ Admantane House.
Chemistry has made vast strides in worlds new technological development, Sri Lanka should make use those innovations without delay for the development of industrial, agricultural, medical and other aspects of social development if we are to move forward with rest of the developed world. At a time when chemical industries serve the global population with , new products and formulations with added advantages with cheap or affordable prices , most who make use these products do not know the role played by chemists who developed these products. When one consider health benefits enjoying by world population, over 99 percent of pharmaceuticals what we use today are chemical compounds developed by chemists who involved in new drug development industry. As Sri Lankan chemists adaptation of chemical innovations without bias and with proper scientific explanations should be exposed to the public f. If we do not act fast as a nation our life style may remain in the same prehistoric human being. Critics or prejudices on misconceptions of those who consider all chemicals are dangerous , we chemists should explain the good and the worst qualities of different chemicals through media. It is a fact all natural products are made of chemicals. Currently we hear only the bad side of chemicals but not the good. As chemists we should not make room for the various business entities to make sub standard products using unsafe, un acceptable raw materials or deliberately adulterated products. At the same time regulatory/ law and order enforcement authorities to act with vigilance to protect consumers.
It is my firm belief , that as professional s who act with ethics and with responsibility it is our duty to defend issues against scientific findings and educate industrialist, farmers ,regulatory authorities, students and society as a whole with correct information when misleading facts and figures are disclose by media or other means. Institute of chemistry as a learned society with capable chemists around us should not be kept silent when injustice happens against pure chemistry where ever it happens in Sri Lanka or elsewhere.
I trust chemistry what we learnt should be used for the benefit of society , furthermore forces, organizations who act without knowing its advantages, but due to phobia on chemicals should be considered as whom we should reached and to explain the truth.
This year s theme is “Ethics Values and responsibilities of Chemists in National Development” As an institution commemorating 75 years I trust above theme decided by the council is an effort to encourage all our members to act with a mission not only for this year but for the rest of our life to build confidence on society that as chemists we act to transform to days life style for better tomorrow.
K R Dayananda
Grad.I.ChemC, F.I.ChemC, C.Chem.M.Phill. President , Institute of Chemistry