The "FORUM 2004" of the World Academy of Ceramics (WAC) took place in Faenza and Cesenatico, Italy, from May 10 to 13, 2004 following the previous editions held in Assisi in 1992 "CERAMICS AND SOCIETY", in Cracow in 1996 "ROLE OF CERAMICS IN A SELF-SUSTAINING ENVIRONMENT" and in Ravello where the 2000 Forum titled "THE ART OF CERAMICS - The blend of Art and Science in Technology".
In Assisi, the social context within which developments in ceramics must be made was discussed, as well as the wide ranging features of ceramic materials themselves which would require attention and advance if their full technological promise was to be realized. In Cracow, the special role ceramic materials and technologies based on their use may play was explored, a role that would contribute to the move of the modern societies towards developmental models with which more importance is attached to the quality of life and to a more intelligent use of natural resources. During the Forum 2000 in Ravello, the Art of Ceramics, in its broadest possible meaning, was object of deep introspection by analysing the relations among Ceramics, Art and Functionality, this last including both technology and serviceability.
Nanotechnology is being heralded today as one of the major directions
for research. New techniques are becoming available based on quantum
effects, Brownian motion and frictional forces at atomic level which
allow single atoms or molecules to be manipulated to build up nanoscale
structures and devices which may eventually combine synthetic with
natural components giving the move to "Nanobiotechnology".
The first day of the Forum (May 10) was spent in Faenza. It included the Inaugural Session held in the "Sala del Consiglio" of the Town Hall. The choice of Faenza to host this important event recognized not only the illustrious traditions of the town in the art of ceramics - the world "Faience" being felt in many places as synonymous of ceramics - traditions which have been handled-on during the centuries up to present days, but also accounts for the town several cultural and educational activities including schools at various levels up to university courses, research centres involved in both traditional and advanced ceramics and, last but not least its impressive International Ceramics Museum.
These features were well summarized during the Opening Address by Pietro Vincenzini, Chairman of Council of the Academy, that was followed by welcome addresses given by Alexander G. Merzhanov on behalf of the WAC International Advisory Board, by Filippo Marazzi on behalf of the Italian Ceramics Industry, by Mayor of Faenza Claudio Casadio and by Jean-François Baumard, President of the Scientific Committee of Forum 2004, who also briefly illustrated the main guidelines which inspired the selection of the scientific contents of the Forum.
The Inaugural Session also included the presentation by Masahiro
Yoshimura, President of the WAC Nomination Committee, of eleven new
Academicians elected during the 9th Election to the Academy, some
of which attended the Forum:
Finally, the Laureates of the WAC international "Ceramics Prize
2004" were presented by Gary L. Messing, President of "Prize
2004" Committee. The Prize "Basic Research" was granted
to Larry L. Hench, Imperial College, London, UK, for his discovery
of Bioglass®, from which started an impressive international interest
on biocompatible materials resulting in several important biomedical
applications. The Prize "Industrial Research" was granted
to Frank Filser, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland,
for the industrial development of an innovative method for the production
of full-ceramic teeth bridges.
In the afternoon, after a buffet lunch offered by the Town of Faenza, Academy Members and their guests were hosted by Parliament Member Dante Stefani, President of the Museum to a visit to the International Ceramics Museum.
The following 3 days (May 11-13) were spent in Cesenatico and were devoted to the scientific sessions of the Forum, that included the following lectures:
Richard W. Siegel
Yasuo Shibasaki, Saburo Sano
Vladimir Ja. Shevchenko
James H. Adair
The Forum programme also envisaged some social events including tours
to various places of historic and tourist interest, and the social
dinner hosted by the Mayor of Cesenatico Damiano Zoffoli.