Vol. 21, No. 1
from IUPAC Sponsored Symposia
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
The ISNA-9 Opening Ceremony was held on 3 August 1998.
Officiating was Professor Arthur K. C. Li, Vice Chancellor of CUHK.
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