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Volume 143 of Macromolecular Symposia contains
plenary and keynote lectures delivered at Macro98 World Polymer Congress,
the 37th IUPAC
International Symposium on Macromolecules, which was held on the Gold
Coast, Queensland, Australia 1115 July 1998. One thousand and
seventy-five delegates attended, plus about 120 accompanying persons.
Most delegates were from outside Australia, indeed coming from 45
differ ent countries. The biennial IUPAC World Polymer Congresses
provide a special opportunity for scientists to meet each other and
to become aware of developments and progress in other countries. From
these conferences, future links emerge between individuals and between
organizations. The meeting was opened by His Excellency the Governor
of Queensland, Major-General Peter Arnison. The Governor noted the
international scientific and technical importance of the meeting,
and indeed was able to draw on his own background (as former executive
director of a company producing products for the mining, agricultural,
transport, and local government services) to put the meeting in context.
He noted the enormous number of benefits that are conferred on our
everyday lives by artificial and natural polymers, in addition to
the fascinating scientific challenges they present.
Invited speakers and contributed poster and verbal
papers covered literally every aspect of polymer science and technology;
there were a total of 1 050 papers presented in all. The program also
included various symposia, not least of which was that on Polymer
Science and Industry. Indeed, the first speaker after the Governors
opening, Dr. Peter Chan of Polymer Coating Technologies of Singapore,
set the tone of scientific excellence and relevance, when he spoke
on scientific challenges arising from new technology demands. Subsequent
speakers in this symposium, which extended for two days, addressed
scientific, technical, and societal issues.
Other major components of the conference were
the ODonnell Symposium on Radiation Chemistry and Polymers,
and the Symposium on Polymer Education. Other symposia were on Characterization;
Polymer Synthesis; Polymers for New Technologies; Polymers; the Environment
and Health Issues; Structure and Properties; Engineering Polymers;
Theory and Modeling of Polymer Systems, Films, Surfaces and Interfaces;
Novel Polymers; Polymer Colloids; Rheology and Processing; and Polymer
Photophysics and Photochemistry. Each of these symposia was coorganized
by an Australian scientist and an overseas scientist. Australia is
an old land geologically, but AustralianChemistry International, 2000,
Vol. 22, No. 3 83 science is young and vigorous, and Australian polymer
scientists welcomed the opportunity to host the most important biennial
conference in the field at the forefront of polymer science and technology.
Many components contributed to the success of
this conference especially the excellence of the delegates and
the large number and vigor of the younger participants who will be
the next scientific generation. An essential ingredient for a successful
conference is the willingness of all participants to learn and to
interact both inside and outside the lecture rooms. It was for this
reason that the venue was chosen at the Gold Coast, where the networking
that is vital for world science was nurtured by the pleasant environment.
Delegates left the conference with new knowledge and new friends,
from which will grow new science.
Prof. Jim O'Donnell
There were a number of special parts to this conference.
One was the Young Scientists program, which encouraged interchange
among research students and other young scientists from around the
world. Another was the Industrial Forum, which focused on the applications
of our science. These applications are vital, when financial changes
pose a challenge to us all to help wealth creation, in the deepest
meaning of the expression, and to improve the quality of life. The
nature of our field is such that we can all help make a better world.
This conference came about because of the dedication,
vision, energy, organizational skills, and enthusiasm of the late
Prof. Jim ODonnell of the Chemistry School of the University
of Queensland, who died tragically of cancer three years before the
conference. Jim was a fine polymer scientist and internationalist,
a personal friend and mentor to many of the attendees, and one who
cared greatly for international issues and for the good of young polymer
scientists. The numbers and diversity of overseas delegates, and the
high quality and number of the scientific papers at Macro98, are some
of Jims memorials.
Prof. Robert G. Gilbert,
Macro98 World Polymer
President, IUPAC Macromolecular Division
H. Napper, Cochair,
Macro98 World Polymer Congress