SCM-X 2021 Preview

Published on: 
Column, January 2021, Volume 17, Issue 01

The International Symposium on the Separation and Characterization of Natural and Synthetic Macromolecules (SCM-X) will take place virtually, from 27 to 29 January 2021, with the live event potentially taking place in 2023. This preview offers a flavour of what visitors can look forward to from SCM-X’s “Zoomposium”.

SCM, the symposium series on the Separation and Characterization of natural and synthetic Macromolecules, is a leading platform for discussion on the latest developments in large‑molecule analysis. Since 2003 live conferences have been held at the beginning of every second year, mainly in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, but in 2013 in Dresden, Germany. SCM is organized by a large group of researchers from the Centre for Analytical Sciences Amsterdam (CASA) that is formed by the two Amsterdam universities: the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit.

SCM has developed into an enthusiastic community, with lively meetings and exciting science. While 2021 will be different from any previous—and hopefully future—year, the idea of the organizers is to cherish the traits that have made SCM an anchor point for scientists in the field. SCM‑X will focus the attention of an extended community on the great science that keeps being performed.

On the proposed days for SCM (27–29 January 2021), two‑hour virtual sessions will be organized in late afternoon (European time) for the SCM community to promote the work highlighted on the SCM-X website and, importantly, to stimulate interaction between members of the community. Researchers from anywhere in the world may participate at no charge, provided they register through the website and are willing to adapt to the time schedule, which, unfortunately, is challenging for those living in Asia or Australia.

SCM‑X provides great opportunities for researchers to advertise their science within and beyond the community. All scientific papers with publication year 2019, 2020, or 2021 that are within the scope of the SCM meeting can be highlighted at SCM‑X. MSc and BSc theses may qualify if they can be downloaded from the website of the responsible educational institute.

By presenting a 3‑min pitch on their paper or thesis, scientists may amplify interest in their work and trigger other researchers to read their publication, which is made accessible from the conference website. Young scientists may also draw attention to themselves and, in doing so, enhance their chances on the job market.


Past and future sponsors of the SCM conferences may contribute in two different ways. They may advertise their scientific papers as part of the regular scientific programme and they may also submit a pitch highlighting their latest technical accomplishments with respect to instruments, software, or consumables, with a reference to their website.

The virtual sessions on January 27, 28 and 29 will feature presentations and discussions on new developments in the field and ample attention for the featured papers, culminating in live pitches and an awards presentation on Friday January 29. Among the confirmed speakers is André Striegel from NIST (Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA), who is arguably the greatest expert on size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) today and who will discuss recent developments in the area. Ewoud van Tricht from Janssen Vaccines in Leiden (The Netherlands) will address the hottest topic of the moment, namely the role of separation and characterization in the development and production of vaccines.

Papers can be proposed for incorporation in SCM‑X using the form on the conference website. If the paper is accepted, the presenting author is asked to make the accompanying pitch available within 30 days. Papers can be submitted until the end of 2021. However, to feature in the discussions on 27–29 January and to qualify for the awards, pitches should be available before January 6th, 2021.

Peter Schoenmakers comments: “If you have attended an SCM conference before, you will sure want to see what is happening at SCM-X. If you have not, there is a very low threshold for you to get to know the conference”.

For more information and registration, visit the SCM‑X webpage at