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Forum 2004 Highlights

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".
Consequences expected are certainly to be significant, with novel medical and information technology, new energy sources and improved materials.
The underlying visions or conceptions whether nanotechnology really represents a radical discontinuity or, conversely, if it has to be felt as an evolution, although relevant, of well known and long lasting approaches in science and technology ,both may find their room.
Within this context, it was felt appropriate to devote the "FORUM 2004" of the World Academy of Ceramics to debate the topic from a very special perspective appropriately reflected by its heading i.e. "LESSONS IN NANOTECHNOLOGY FROM TRADITIONAL AND ADVANCED CERAMICS". Prof. Jean-François Baumard and the members of the Scientific Committee for the Forum 2004 are to be commended for having arranged a very interesting set of Invited Speeches covering various relevant aspects of nanotechnology, both in the field of traditional and advanced ceramics.

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:

V.N. Antsiferov, Perm State Technical University, Russia
S. Asano, The Technical Association of Refractories, Tokyo, Japan
I.P. Borovinskaya, ISMAN, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow Region, Russia
Sang-Hee Cho, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
B.A. Escardino, University Jaume I, Castellon, Spain
J. Lis, AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow, Poland
E. Longo, University of Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Bin Nagai, Himeji, Japan
P.Dj. Sarkisov, D. Mendeleyev University, Moscow, Russia
M. Singh, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, USA
E. Yasuda, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan

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.
Both Prize Laureates then gave their Lectures to end the Inaugural Session. Prof. Hench on "The Story of Bioglass: from Concept to Clinic"; Prof. Filser on "Cercon® - smart Ceramics: A New Net-shaping Process for All-ceramics Dental Restorations".

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
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA
Nanotechnology and its Implications in Society

Karen Scrivener
Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne, Switzerland
Nanoscience of Cementitious Materials

Yasuo Shibasaki, Saburo Sano
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Nagoya, Japan
Nano-technology Based on the Knowledge of Traditional Ceramics and Clays

Jacques Lafait
Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Lab. Optique des Solides, Paris, France
Colour of Ceramics

Antonio Sgamellotti
University of Perugia, Italy
Silver and Copper Nanoparticles in Italian Lustre Renaissance Pottery

Vladimir Ja. Shevchenko
Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Silicate Chemistry, St. Petersburg, Russia
Sol-gel Reactions is the Best Way from Ancient Inorganic Chemistry and Alchemy of Ceramics to Modern Nanotechnology

James H. Adair
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
Colloidal Lessons Learned for Dispersion of Nanosize Particle Suspensions

Jacques Livage
Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Chimie de la Matière Condensée, Paris, France
Nano Encapsulation of Biospecies in Silica

Alexander G. Merzhanov
Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Structural Macrokinetics and Materials Science, Chernogolovka, Moscow Reg., Russia
Nanopowders from SHS

Frederick F. Lange
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Controlling Forces Between Particles for Advanced Materials: Nano to Micron Scales

Roger Naslain
University Bordeaux I, France
Engineering Multilayered Composite Ceramics at the Nanometric Scale to Achieve Improved Properties

Masahiro Yoshimura
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
How we can Realize Powderless Processing of Nanoceramics: Direct Fabrication from Solutions and/or Melts

Sunngi Baik
Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Korea
The Synchrotron Radiation for Nanoscience

The various presentations were followed by intensive discussions. All matter presented at the Forum 2004, including lectures given by Prize Laureates, invited lectures and discussion will be object of the Official Proceedings, Monographs in Materials and Society, Volume 6, printed by Techna Group on behalf of WAC.

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.


WORLD ACADEMY OF CERAMICS Corso Mazzini 52 - 48018 Faenza (RA) ITALY