Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.1, January 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 1 (January)
..Chemistry in Africa
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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 1
January 1999

Reports from IUPAC Sponsored Symposia

The 9th International Symposium on Novel Aromatic Compounds (ISNA-9), 2-7 August 1998, Hong Kong

The chemistry department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) hosted the 9th International Symposium on Novel Aromatic Compounds (ISNA-9), 2­7 August 1998, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wanchai, Hong Kong. ISNA-9 was organized under the joint auspices of the Hong Kong Institution of Science and the Hong Kong Chemical Society.

Aromatic compounds are those compounds that, owing to particular arrangements of their p-electrons, possess unusual chemical, physical, and biological properties. The wide spectrum of aromatic compounds today ranges from high potency pharmaceuticals to high-tech materials with special electronic, optical, and magnetic responses. Some of these materials even mimic the functions of enzymes in biological systems.

The Symposium is the first international conference held in Hong Kong sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), with the aim to promote fellowship and to enhance communication and professional contact among chemists actively involved in the study of novel aromatic compounds. The international conference is also one of the programs celebrating CUHK's 35th anniversary in 1998. This event attracted over 250 participants, of which over 200 were from overseas.

The ISNA-9 Opening Ceremony was held on 3 August 1998. Officiating was Professor Arthur K. C. Li, Vice Chancellor of CUHK. Professor Cun-Hao Zhang, Chairman of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Official Representative of IUPAC, gave the congratulatory speech on behalf of Professor Joshua Jortner, President of IUPAC.

On 4 April 1996, Professor Tetsuo Nozoe departed this life just a month before his 94th birthday. His death marked the end of an era of organic chemistry, not simply in Japan, but worldwide among the community of ISNA chemists. His involvement with, and commitment to, the ISNA movement is legendary. Professor Nozoe was the Founding Chairman of ISNA at the age of 68, and the inaugural meeting took place in Sendai, Japan, 24-28 August 1970. Because of his stature within the ISNA family, the passing of this legendary figure is to be marked by an ISNA Nozoe Memorial Lecture. Professor Lawrence T. Scott of Boston College, a renowned scholar in the field of novel aromatic compounds, was chosen by an International Selection Panel comprising Professors Sho Ito, Ichiro Murata, Toyonobu Asao, Ron Breslow, Klaus Hafner, Emanuel Vogel, and Brian Halton to deliver the first Nozoe Memorial Lecture entitled "Geodesic Polyarenes with Exposed Concave Surfaces" on 3 August 1998.

Besides the Nozoe Memorial Lecture, there were also 12 plenary lectures, 25 invited lectures and poster sessions with over 150 posters given by leading professional chemists the world over. Some of the most notable plenary lectures were: Professor Hiizu Iwamura discussed his molecular approaches towards photomagnetic materials; Professor Hisashi Yamamoto spoke on selective organic synthesis, making use of his designer Lewis acids; Professor Fritz Voegile told the audience about the chemistry of topological chirality; Professor François Diederich disclosed his preparation of functional conjugated materials for optonics and electronics; Professor Klaus Muellen showed how he made two- and three-dimensional nanoparticles from benzene. In addition to several ISNA veterans, such as Professors Brian Halton, Koichi Komatsu, Reg Mitchell, Fritz Bickelhaupt, Modecai Rabinovitz, and Heinz Staab, some rising stars of the ISNA family, such as Professors Mike Haley, Peter Timmerman, Yves Rubin, and Tim Swager, also summarized their recent research findings in invited lectures.

H. N. C. Wong

C-H. Zhang

 

 

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