International competition of young chemists has come to an end

Nargiz Pashayeva: Without scientific potential it is quite impossible to turn natural and national resources into national achievements.

The 47th  International Chemistry Olympiad hosted for the first time in Azerbaijan by Baku Branch of Lomonosov  Moscow State University from July 20 to 29 has come to an end.

The competition has passed in exciting, tense, fair and serious conditions. Nearly 300 young students and over 250 chemists, scientists, jury members, experts in chemistry, educators, observers and team mentors from 75 countries of 5 continents participated in the prestigious competition.

It should be noted that during the Olympiad Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University opened its doors to about 600 guests and redoubled its efforts to hold this competition at a high level. A scientific base was established, all proper facilities were provided by the authority of the Branch to have a competition in accordance with Olympiad rules and regulations. The Olympiad participants have not found any difficulties in fulfilling the tasks, because up-to-date equipment in all the chemistry labs of the Branch enables the students to carry out any scientific research here.

In recent years, Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University has paid assiduous attention to the experimental base and laboratory communications. At present, the Branch with its chemistry labs is able to keep pace with the world’s leading universities.

The facilities for the students of Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University have always been in the focus of attention of the worldwide highly qualified experts. The scientists who visited our capital from 5 continents of our planet have approved the safety rules and regulations, laboratories, classrooms as well as favorable conditions in the university campus built in a contemporary style.

On July 28, the closing ceremony of the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad took place at Heydar Aliyev Center. At the beginning of the ceremony a film depicting the course of the Olympiad, exams, leisure time of the participants was demonstrated.

Then Professor Fikret Guliyev, chairman of the Science Committee of the 47th IChO made a final report about the practical and theoretical exams. The professor has highly appreciated the role of the Olympiad too. He said, “I would like to stress that the 47th IChO has been organized by Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University under the direct supervision of Moscow State University and supported by Azerbaijan Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan Republic, Heydar Aliyev Center and SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic). I am proud to say that the Olympiad finished at a high level. Professor F.Guliyev also added that some tasks were related to Azerbaijan and they dealt with important problems of Azerbaijan’s nature, ecology and industry.”

The Best Olympiad

Chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Chemistry Olympiad Professor of Chemistry and Scientific Communications at Sogang University of South Korea Duckwan Lee shared his impressions on the Olympiad with the participants. He mentioned the highest organization of Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University and expressed his thanks to everyone who took pains in holding the Olympiad, particularly to Professor Nargiz Pashayeva. He also added that they had a great opportunity to experience the wonderful competition, rich and various landscape, historical and cultural heritage, generosity and hospitality of the people. He appreciated this event as a perfect Olympiad. He said, “It is the best Olympiad within 12 years I witnessed and participated in my life. I congratulate all the medal winners on this occasion. You have already done well. It was a great pleasure for us to be in Baku and in Gabala. We will keep all this in our memory for a long time. I’d like to thank those who prepared the tasks, mentors who translated them and the observers who took an active part in the Olympiad. At the same time I express my deep gratitude to Professor Nargiz Pashayeva for the organization of this wonderful international event.”

190 Medals Found their Owners

After that medals and awards were presented. First 10 students were given  “Honorable Mention” award, a mark of special praise.

Then the names of bronze medalists were announced. Bronze medals were handed by the members of the Organizing Committee Academician Akif Azizov, vice-president of the International Chemistry IUPAC, corresponding member of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, Professor Natalia Tarasova, co-chairman of the Science Committee of IChO, Professor of Chemistry at Lomonosov Moscow State University Alexander Gladilin. In total, 92 students from 51 countries received bronze medals: Argentina, Belarus, Iceland, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Hungary, El Salvador, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Moldova, Sweden, England, Syria, Uruguay, Vietnam (1 medal), Denmark, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Slovenia, Uzbekistan (2 awards), Finland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria (3 awards), Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia (4 medals).

The silver medals were handed by Minister of Education of Azerbaijan Republic Mikail Jabbarov, Chairwoman of State Commission for Students Admission Maleyka Abbaszadeh and Vice-president of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Tofig Naghiyev. 63 students from 33 countries won silver medals of the 47th IChO. They were from Austria, Denmark, Latvia, Brazil, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Moldova, El Salvador, Estonia, France (1 medal), Argentina, Canada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Vietnam (2 medals),  Belarus, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey,  England, United States (3 medals), Ukraine (4 medals).

The First of Firsts

“The First of Firsts” award was presented by Rector of Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University Professor Nargiz Pashayeva who shouldered responsibility for the Olympiad.

For the best results in theory, a representative of China Team Yifu Ouyang became the absolute winner, the top gold medalist and the best theoretician of the 47th IChO.

For the best practical results, a representative of the US Team David I-Hsuan Vang won the title “The best experimentator” of the 47th IChO.

Medalists from Azerbaijan

We are proud to mention that 2 students from Azerbaijan Team won a bronze medal. They are Sergey Styopin, who finished Academician Zarifa Aliyeva Lyceum this year and Huseyn Babayev, a tenth-year student of “Desire” Lyceum.

At the end of the ceremony President of the 47th IChO, Rector of Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor Nargiz Pashayeva congratulated all the participants and medal winners of the Olympiad. Then she started her closing speech with the phrase “The main catalyst for the events is a human.” 

The Main Catalyst for the Events is a Human

Nargiz Pashayeva: “If there is no scientific potential, it will never be possible to turn national resources into nationwide achievements”

First of all I would like to once again welcome our talented and hard-working participants of the Olympiad and congratulate them on this occasion. I would also like to say a warm welcome to all the scholars, teachers, invigilators, diplomats and all our guests who accepted our invitation and joined us at this closing ceremony.

We ended the week full of intensity, excitement, breaking news and colorful events. What did we learn from it? This week taught us that just as the slogan says, life truly resembles a huge chemistry laboratory and the most valuable, the most expensive and the most irreplaceable device of this laboratory is the human brain! We also learned that the main catalyst of all processes that occur is human being himself! Just as it was the case with your tests, in a figurative sense, life is also made up of two parts: practical and analytical ones. However, what is important here is to have a nice theory coincide with nice deeds in practice and complete each other.

I had a chance to observe your working process during the tests and I could see the intensity you worked with and how hard you were trying to focus. Your behavior reminded me a popular proverb in Azerbaijan, which literally says, “Caution is the charm of a hero”. And while observing the most complicated laboratory tasks, a new version of that proverb came to my mind: “Caution is the charm of a hero and of a chemist”, because just as it is in life, in the chemistry laboratory, together with being courageous and fearless, one must be cautious and prepared.

Dear friends, I can recall that you were complaining about the insufficiency of 5 hours that were given to you for your tests. However, we as grown-ups can tell you from our life experiences that there is never enough time in life. As great Dante once said: ‘Time is a sacred category.’ Time weighs up everything and gives everything the right assessment. Those who have successfully passed the tests are also the ones who have passed the main tests of life. We hope to see you always rising and successful in the tide of time.

When I first greeted you I told you that Azerbaijan, Baku city and our University would become a second home for you. We hope that this was the case and that you felt comfortable within the walls of this home and you were convinced that Azeris are hospitable and kind-hearted people. Please cherish these memories from Azerbaijan and do not forget this ancient and beautiful land.

Young chemists and their tutors coming from both neighboring and far away countries had a chance to see the modern image of our beautiful city. However, you could also imagine the beauty of old Baku, which was no less beautiful, by taking a look at the photos exhibited for you in the entrance hall of this building. When you are back home with your family, and if they ask you: What is the main symbol of Baku? Please show them the beautiful, magical, unique and ancient Maiden Tower as the main symbol. This Tower, which amazes and impresses everyone with its exceptionality and romanticism, is engraved on your medals, as it is the only, immortal and ancient symbol of our city.

We as teachers are very proud of you, as you have chosen the right path in life – the path of knowledge. I hope that you don’t get tired on it, and that you never turn away from this honorable path.  I hope that one day this path leads you to be among the greatest scientists of the world!

The countries you come from possess natural resources such as natural gas, oil, gold, cotton etc. However, if there is no scientific potential then it will never be possible to turn national resources into nationwide achievements. The economy will be unstable and society will suffer from inequality. To avoid these difficulties, countries need scholars, good scholarship, sharp minds and open hearts. I strongly believe that it is up to you to turn your national resources into nationwide achievements.

Today in this room winners are rewarded and loudly admired. At the same time we have participants who did not receive any awards. Please accept our congratulations and gratitude to you as well. Just as it is in chemistry you all were a part of the main body of participants and it is you who made the winners who they are.

There is a funny parable in Azerbaijan, which says that in Azerbaijan hosts enjoy the time when they greet the guest and when they see them off. But the second part of joy is not because the guest is leaving, it is because the guest is leaving fully pleased with the host. I hope this is the case with you and if it is, then with much joy we wish you a pleasant journey back home.

I hope success accompanies you as you leave our country and I wish you health and good spirit!

At the end of the ceremony N.Pashayeva expressed her deep gratitude to the Organizing Committee, Science Committee, scientists, teachers, mentors and other guests, the Chemistry faculty of Moscow State University, young chemists and those who have done their best to hold the Olympiad succesfully.   

With this, Professor Nargiz Pashayeva declared the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad closed.

The Olympiad Flag was Handed Over to Pakistan

A grand reception was held at “Gulustan” Palace after the closing ceremony of the Olympiad. At the farewell party the new chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Chemistry Olympiad Gabor Magyarfalvi (from Hungary) announced that the next Chemistry Olympiad would be held in Karachi (Pakistan) in 2016. So President of the 47th IChO Professor Nargiz Pashayeva handed over the Flag of IChO to Head Mentor of Pakistan Team Professor Khalid Mohammad Khan.

After that occasion the Science Committee of IChO has presented other awards. One of them was an award with the nomination “Escaped from the doctors”. This award was shared between two brave students – Battauz Fabio from Argentina and Otisi Amarachi Ann Ugo from Nigeria, who felt unwell, but refused the medical aid and continued their tasks during the competition. Co-chairman of the Science Committee of IChO Professor Alexander Gladilin, Professor Vadim Eremin and Vice-President of the IUPAC International Chemistry Organization, corresponding member of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, Professor Natalia Tarasova presented the certificates and books on Chemistry.

Professor Nargiz Pashayeva personally handed a special award to the youngest participant of the 47th IChO 14-year-old girl from Nigeria Team Oluwatosin Mariam Oloyede.

BASF Company has established a special award for winners of the 47th ICHO. Two winners who showed the best results and were detected on the draws in the closing ceremony, will visit the headquaters of BASF in Ludwigshafen (Germany). According to the draw of the lottery, Baturalp Yalchyn, a representative of the Turkish team and the bronze medalist Sergey Styopin from Azerbaijan team became winners. During the two-day program, they will get acquainted with the history of the largest chemical company in the world, visit the manufacturing facilities, will also meet the scientists, specialists in the field of biotechnology.  The awards were presented by the General Manager of BASF Caspian Ali Ihsan Gench and Rector of Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University Professor Nargiz Pashayeva. 

Thus, the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad hosted for the first time in Azerbaijan has successfully come to an end. The Olympiad has gone down in history as a remarkable and most significant event in the scientific and educational life of Azerbaijan. We are sure that this competition will give rise to the zeal for the science of Chemistry and its great contribution to the growth of future Nobel Prize winners.


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