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A New Name for Division IV


At its division meeting in Paris in July 2004, prior to the IUPAC World Polymer Congress (Macro 2004), Division IV voted to change its name from Macromolecular Division to Polymer Division. The change was ratified by the Bureau at its meeting in Bled, Slovenia, on 2 October 2004.

The Macromolecular Division was formed in 1967 to "extend the activities of the former Commission on Macromolecules and of the Polymer and Plastics Section."[1] The structure of the new division was devised under the guidance of Otto Wichterle (Prague), the then Chairman of the Commission of Macromolecules. Initially, within Division IV, only Commission IV.1 on Macromolecular Nomenclature was formed. "All other work was done by Working Groups, ad hoc Committees, and individual experts" [1].

Following the initial macromolecular emphasis, Commission IV.2 on Polymer Characterization and Properties was formed in 1975. Gradually, over the years, Division IV's work has expanded away from individual macromolecules towards polymers as substances and materials. However, the molecular areas of activity still retain their importance.

Under the present, project-based operating system of IUPAC, Division IV has structured itself to cover the following areas of activity, each organized by one, two, or three coordinators:

· Structure-Property Characterization of Commercial Polymers
· Modeling of Polymerization Kinetics and Processes
· Macromolecular Terminology
· Macromolecular Nomenclature (in collaboration with Division VIII)
· Molecular Characterization of Polymers
· Developing Polymer Materials Systems
· Polymer Education

Of these areas, only Macromolecular Nomenclature and Molecular Characterization of Polymers deals with individual macromolecules. Division IV's concerns are now much broader than when it was formed 37 years ago. In general terms, the division's present work deals with macromolecules, polymer substances and materials, and polymer-based materials. Hence, the members of Division IV have chosen to rename it "Polymer Division." The name is simple and straightforward, and adequately describes Division IV's activities, now and into the foreseeable future.


[1] Roger Fennell, History of IUPAC 1919-1987, Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, 1994, p. 238.

<announcement published in Chem. Int. Jan/Feb 2005 issue>


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