Breakdancers in lederhosen? It's true. Attendees to the International Federation for the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) 2018 Congress Opening Ceremony were entertained by the feats of Dancefloor Deconstruction Crew (DDC), a world-renowned German break-dancing troupe whose choreographed moves to modern techno beats are wrapped in traditional lederhosen dress.
To paraphrase the evening's emcee, Hartmut Schmidt-Lewerkühne, president of the DGK (German IFSCC), it was a perfect combination of tradition and today; much like this week's anticipated Congress.
Schmidt-Lewerkühne explained the educational focus of the IFSCC and thanked the many volunteers and organizers involved in preparing for this year's congress. He welcomed IFSCC President Peter Kang, who also shared his appreciation for the organizers, especially those who spent personal time reviewing the numerous scientific paper submissions, in order to narrow them down to just 85 podium presentations.
"This year's presentations will inspire your work, while the event itself offers many opportunities to network and expand personal connections," Kang assured attendees. He then invited Praesidium members to the stage for a round of applause.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Jürgen Lademann, Ph.D., vice president of the IFSCC, was up next. He reflected on the past with a look at the poster advertising the very first IFSCC, held in 1960 in Münich. "And now, I can say we have not just 48 but 49 member countries, as China was just added today as a new member," he announced.
Lademann also reviewed the goals of the IFSCC; from advancing cosmetic science and encouraging fundamental research in cosmetic science, to providing scientific meetings and publishing scientific and technical literature for its 16,000-plus members. He then shared his insights on the future direction of the industry.
"Perhaps in the future, we will no longer speak of UV protection, but 'light' protection." In addition, he noted, "Consumers are also gaining interest in biological cosmetics."
Finally, he emphasized the importance to our industry of sustainability and consideration for nature, nicely alluding to the keynote presentation, to follow him. He concluded with some IFSCC 2018 event statistics, including:
- 85 oral presentations;
- 448 poster presentations;
- 1200 participants from 28 countries; and
- 38 exhibitors.
Opening Keynote: The Big Melt
Schmidt-Lewerkühne then returned, declaring the 2018 IFSCC Congress open and welcoming keynote speaker Dirk Notz, Ph.D., of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Notz presented "The Big Melt," a sobering look at effects of global warming on the environment. He brilliantly connected, for attendees, the Earth's atmosphere and climate to its "skin," making the negative impact all too relevant.
Examples included a significant reduction in the amount of ice present in the Arctic, along with drastic changes in the stability of the environment. "Climate change has always been around but never like it is today," he said, providing evidence for how the presence of humans has significantly increased CO2 emissions; even once natural processes that emit CO2 are removed from the equation.
However, he ended on a positive note, describing entire cities that have made it their goal to drastically cut emissions to 0%. He presented a simulation for how the Earth's climate could be improved over time if everyone worked toward the same goal.
"I'm an optimist," he said, "which is why I'm here and presenting to you. To me, pessimism is just another word for being lazy and doing nothing about it," he concluded.
Attendees then adjourned for networking, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before retiring in preparation for the heavy scientific discussions ahead of them.