25 No. 1
January - February 2003
Its my privilege to
wish members of IUPAC bodies, fellows, affiliates, and our
highly esteemed company associates an enjoyable and satisfying
2003. We always have great expectations at the beginning of
a new year, and 2003 will be no different, with its unique
challenges and opportunities. I am highly indebted to you,
the members of the IUPAC family, for your outstanding contributions
and voluntary work on behalf of the goals and ideals of the
Union. From its contribution to a sound understanding of the
molecular processes involved in post-genomic chemistry to
an explanation of the physical phenomena influencing the design
and properties of nanomaterials, chemistry is truly the core
science. The fact that we are equipped with the physical tools
enabling us to study these conundrums makes these very interesting
IUPAC must continue
to serve the needs of chemists at both the fundamental
and applied level . . .
A year ago I referred to the
task group headed by Dr. Ed Przybylowicz to revisit the Strategic
Plan of IUPAC. With the benefit of input from the IUPAC
family and the National Adhering Organizations, the task group
compiled a succinct Vision Statement and a new Mission Statement.
It also reduced the previous 10 Long-Range Goals to 6. The
IUPAC Bureau is unanimous in its support of the new strategy,
made public for the first time in this issue of Chemistry
International. It is, in fact, very much in line with
the plan adopted in 1997. In the future all of our actions
will be aligned with and in support of this new strategy.
Take a look at the first goal:
IUPAC will provide leadership as a worldwide scientific
organization that objectively addresses global issues involving
the chemical sciences. It is a direct reflection of the
strategic change at IUPAC that led to the transition from
a commission-driven organization to one focused on the effective
execution of projects of broad international interest. I am
delighted by the progress already reported and in the adoption
of modern electronic communication technology, especially
the Internet, in the execution of IUPAC business. The Project
Committee (Professor Jack Lorimer, chairman) and the Evaluation
Committee (Professor Gerhard Schneider, chairman) now ensure
the effectiveness and quality of IUPAC operations. In addition,
sound management procedures are in place to ensure that IUPAC
funding is effectively utilized. Never content with the status
quo, however, IUPAC has established a new task group, led
by Vice President Leiv Sydnes, to focus on governance at the
Bureau, Executive Committee, and Council level. I expect that
some proposals may be put forth at the August Council meeting
IUPACs new strategy
was put to work this past year providing scientific advice
to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) in its advisory role to the Chemical Weapons Convention
(CWC) of the United Nations. A workshop held in Bergen, Norway,
was a resounding success and culminated in a report that was
presented to the director general of the OPCW and to all national
authorities. IUPACs report should help the OPCW and
its States Parties to prepare for the First Review Conference
in 2003. The full proceedings of the CWC Workshop, including
the report to the OPCW, will appear in the December 2002 issue
of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
The partnership between SCOPE
(Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) of ICSU
(the International Council for Science) and IUPAC led to the
undertaking of a major project on Environmental Implications
of Endocrine Active Substances: Present State of the Art and
Future Research Needs. At the International Symposium on Endocrine
Active Substances held in Yokohama, Japan, early in November
2002, topics ranged from the Molecular Mode of Action of Nuclear
Receptors to the Effects of Endocrine Active Substances in
Wildlife Species. The meeting, which was chaired by Dr. Junshi
Miyamoto, past president of IUPAC Division VI, Chemistry and
the Environment, gathered world experts in this crucial area
of environmental risk.
I am delighted by the focus
of the Committee on Chemistry Education on the teaching of
chemistry at school and tertiary levels as well as on the
public understanding of chemistry. The newly created Division
of Chemical Nomenclature and Structural Representation is
now fully functional and supports our leadership role in the
language of chemistry.
IUPAC must continue to serve
the needs of chemists at both the fundamental and applied
level, and in that regard it is particularly satisfying to
note the efforts of Dr. Alan Hayes (IUPAC past president)
and the officers of the Committee on Chemistry and Industry.
These efforts have led to new terms of reference for COCI,
and IUPAC is now much better positioned to serve the needs
of the chemical industry.
I invite all chemists to participate
in the 39th IUPAC Congress and the 86th Conference of the
Canadian Society for Chemistry <www.iupac2003.org>.
This important event, dedicated to Chemistry at the Interfaces,
will take place during August 2003 in Ottawa, and is concurrent
with the IUPAC General Assembly. At the meeting, nine future
leaders of chemistry will be awarded the IUPAC Prize for Young
Chemists. The deadline for the 2003 Prize is 1 February 2003;
details can be found at <www.iupac.org/news/prize.html>.
I again appeal to young chemists to get involved in the new
IUPAC; we place great value upon your ideas, energy, and commitment.
S. Steyn <[email protected]>
is the current IUPAC president and has been involved with
the Union since 1973. He is director of the Division of Research
Development of the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
last modified 20 December 2002.
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