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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 72, Nos. 1-2, p. 1-331, 2000

Special Topic Issue on the Theme
of Nanostructured Systems



IUPAC Changing for a New Century
The future mission and function of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) must rest on globalization of science and technology, interdisciplinary unification of chemistry, fast expansion of the chemical sciences beyond their traditional boundaries, and mission-oriented service of chemistry. I believe that one of the most important accomplishments of IUPAC during the last two years is the formulation of a Mission Statement and a Strategic Plan based on long-range goals. The present structure of IUPAC precludes the fulfillment of many of its central scientific functions, as reflected in organizational fragmentation and resulting hindrance in the inception and conduct of horizontal interdisciplinary projects. An integrated program for changes in the organization of the Union's scientific work was approved by IUPAC's Bureau, whose objectives are to improve quality, relevance, international impact, and effectiveness of IUPAC's scientific work. This integrated holistic program rests on major changes in the responsibilities of the Divisions, in project evaluation, and in the future function of the Commissions. Most parts of the program are well underway. The IUPAC Council in its Meeting in Berlin (August 1999) has undertaken additional steps to enable the new program to operate effectively. By deciding not to extend the current thirty- seven IUPAC Commissions beyond the end of 2001, the Council revitalized our scientific activities, ensured the selection of only high-quality projects to bear IUPAC's label, and encouraged the participation of the worldwide chemistry community. These steps are essential for shaping IUPAC's contribution into the 21st century.

The scientific core activities of IUPAC will rest on the principles of quality, relevance, impact on broad fields, merging of science and technology, international dimensions, openness, and communication. New research fields, where the activity is truly international, are expected to contribute to high-quality, significant scientific developments and to constitute the cutting edge for new technologies. IUPAC became involved in the identification, characterization, and recommendation of novel research directions by the organization of conferences, with the involvement of the world scientific leadership, on New Directions in Chemistry. It is a great pleasure and privilege to announce that this enterprise has been successfully inaugurated with a Workshop on Advanced Materials: Nanostructured Systems, held 14 -18 July 1999 in Hong Kong. The entire world chemistry community owes a debt of gratitude to the International Organizing Committee and its Chairman, Professor Mostafa El-Sayed, for seizing an initiative to promote this important area of emerging science and technology, and for shaping an outstanding program that reflects the current status of the field and its international participation and appeal. It is fitting that IUPAC should also seek to promote this important subject through publication of a special topic issue of Pure and Applied Chemistry, devoted exclusively to a collection of review articles and research papers based upon presentations made at the Workshop. Those delegates who contributed to this issue deserve credit for their willingness to share their results and insights with a wider audience.

Joshua Jortner
IUPAC Past President

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