The AAMG celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2020, having been formed following an inaugural meeting entitled “Automatic Analysis” on 10th November 1965. The meeting was held under the auspices of the old Society for Analytical Chemistry (SAC) and shortly after the SAC approved formation of an Automatic Methods Group (AMG). The AMG continued as an SAC Group until 1980 when the four UK professional chemical societies (Chemical Society, the Royal Institute of Chemistry, the Faraday Society, and the Society for Analytical Chemistry) agreed to merge to form a new body, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). At that point the SAC became Analytical Division (AD) of the RSC and the AMG was designated as one of the RSC’s Special Interest Groups.
The only subsequent changes have been a new name, the Automation and Analytical Management Group (AAMG) in 1999, and more recently redesignation as a mere Interest Group of the RSC. One aspect which has changed has been the appearance of our website. Having started in the early days of a text-based Internet it has evolved through numerous changes in technology and style.
In the early days the focus of the Group’s activities was discussion and even demonstrations of prototype automated analytical equipment which members were constructing in their own laboratories. Sadly those days waned as UK analytical laboratories came under increasing commercial pressure and manufacturers began to meet the demand for commercial automated systems. In consequence two new directions emerged. One was a focus of activities on organising lectures, seminars and conferences which were open to any scientists interested in the topic. The second development was an increasing interest in laboratory management topics and, in particular, the newly developing Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). Commencing in 1987, the latter formed the basis of an extremely successful series of international LIMS conferences which continued for over 15 years. More recently, major interests for AAMG meetings have included laboratory outsourcing, meaningful measurements, air pollution monitoring and chemical sensors.