Discover how a chemistry revolution could transform the world of 2040


Molecular Sciences Research Hub in black and white

Chemistry experts from academia and industry will offer visions of 2040 on Friday at an all-day event in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH).

Marking the launch of MSRH, the Department of Chemistry’s new state-of-the-art research home at Imperial’s White City Campus, Chemistry Futures 2040 will explore how chemistry can help meet societal challenges like healthy ageing, climate change and food security, and how the discipline itself could develop in coming decades. The event is open to businesses and the Imperial community, with the last remaining places now available. 

Maria Jeansson, Strategy Manager at Imperial’s Tech Foresight practice, said: "We created this event to celebrate chemistry’s potential to revolutionise healthcare, energy, resources and food. It includes industry partners that share Imperial’s forward-looking view, and visionary startups that are part of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. More than anything, it will shine a positive light on how chemistry might revolutionise itself."

Visions of future chemistry

Chemistry Futures 2040 will feature a range of talks and activities:

  • Dr Marco Di Antonio, a fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Dr Stefan Kirschbaum, Foresight Manager at Evonik, will lead a workshop on the future of healthy ageing, where Dr Di Antonio will argue that advances in our understanding of DNA structures could enable medical interventions that one day bring an end to age-related diseases.
  • Dr Kim Jelfs, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, will tell the audience how computer simulations can replace a year’s worth of lab-based research, and other ways that algorithms and machines can accelerate the discovery of new materials that could transform industry and society.
  • Dr Andreas Kafizas, Lecturer in the Grantham Institute, will explain how future cities could be powered by sunlight in the way that plants are, and how his group’s research in metal oxides is helping make this future a reality.
  • Along with these and other talks and workshops, the day will feature a fireside chat between Dr Darlene Solomon, senior vice president and CTO of Agilent Technologies and Professor Alan Armstrong, head of the Department of Chemistry, and an exhibition showcasing Imperial startups.

A home for innovation

Professor Armstrong said: "We are excited to officially launch the MSRH as the first academic laboratories on the new White City Campus. These world-leading facilities will enable us to realise our vision for collaborative research across chemistry and other molecular sciences, working with external partners, to solve key societal problems ranging from materials to healthcare.”

MSRH brings together 800 scientists, clinicians, engineers and business partners in a state-of-the-art facility, providing them with an opportunity to collaborate under one roof in a way they have not been able to before. It is part of Imperial’s new White City Campus, where businesses and researchers co-locate to further multidisciplinary research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

ChemFest 2019

Chemistry Futures 2040 is part of ChemFest 2019, a festival of chemistry being held by the Science Museum, V&A, Imperial College London, Royal College of Art, Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Society of Chemistry to celebrate 150 years of the periodic table of the elements.


David Silverman

David Silverman

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Global-challenges-Health-and-wellbeing, Molecular-sciences, White-City-Campus, Climate-change, Enterprise
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