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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 3
May 2002

 

The World Chemistry Congress 2001 and the Young Scientist Awards


IUPAC President Alan Hayes presents Teri Odom with the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists Award. *

The IUPAC World Chemistry Congress 2001 (the 38th IUPAC Congress) held in Brisbane, Australia, 1–6 July 2001, brought together well over 1000 delegates from around the world and a host of international and domestic scientists from a variety of disciplines. The traditional subdivisions were waived in favor of a new cross-disciplinary approach featuring the themes of materials chemistry for the future, chemistry by computer, challenges for drug discovery and development in the 21st century, environmental chemistry and the greening of industry, and modern synthetic chemistry.

The emphasis on the future interdisciplinary nature of chemistry, said Dr. Geoffrey Will, had a particular benefit to the numerous young chemists present at the Congress because it promoted the "big picture view" of the evolving discipline of chemistry. Dr. Will is the Congress editor for the series of lectures published in the July 2001 issue of IUPAC’s Journal Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Due to the success of the Congress, the Australian Journal of Chemistryan International Journal for Chemical Science, assembled a special double issue (Vol 54, issue 9 and 10, 2001) with highlights from the Materials Chemistry for the Future session. In her editorial reproduced below (by permission of CSIRO PUBLISHING), Dr. Alison Green reviews briefly the issues’ contents.

Zeolites, molecular magnets, biomineralization, bone implants, synthetic opals, and molecular capsules are some of the areas where chemical science is giving rise to materials for the future. Diverse areas of cross-disciplinary research such as these are flourishing, and about a quarter of the papers presented at the recent IUPAC World Chemistry Congress in Brisbane (the largest chemistry conference ever held in Australia) made up the Materials Chemistry for the Future session. Highlights from this session make up this special issue of Australian Journal of Chemistryan International Journal for Chemical Science. Matt Trau, who was a theme coordinator of the Materials Chemistry session, acted as guest editor for this issue, and has contributed the introductory Essay.

Nobel Laureate Yuan Tseh Lee discussed the photo-excitation of molecules in a molecular beam in the first plenary lecture, and he has subsequently presented the work in one of four reviews in this issue. Professor Lee also includes new results that shed light on the isomerization of xylenes. Sir John Meurig Thomas described some novel catalyst architecture where transition metal clusters are adsorbed within the mesopores of zeolites to achieve selective, heterogeneous, environmentally friendly processes. The biomineralization of chiton and limpet teeth was discussed by John Webb, who reports in his Current Chemistry article how vibrational spectroscopy can give insight into detailed mineral structure, which in turn provides important information on the complex processes of biomineralization. Matt Trau described his group’s approach to combinatorial chemistry, in which colloidal silica beads are marked with up to six fluorescent dyes as labels, the markers thus functioning as "fluorescent bar codes," allowing the encoding of large libraries.

We enjoyed the privilege of awarding student prizes at the Congress. The awards, whose purpose is to encourage and reward young scientists, were co-sponsored by the RACI and the Journal. Judging was carried out by Professor Len Lindoy, Professor John White, Dr John Lambert and myself, with a great deal of very helpful input from other delegates.

While deciding second and third place was less straightforward, the clear winner was Teri Odom, who presented work carried out with Charles Lieber at Harvard, on the electronic properties of carbon nanotubes. Impressive images achieved using scanning tunnelling micro-scopy, and lucid explanations of the relationship between atomic structure, electronic properties, and structural defects, characterized her presentation. Teri Odom received AUD 750 and a 12-month subscription (print and electronic) to Australian Journal of Chemistryan International Journal for Chemical Science. Teri was also the recipient of an IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists for her Ph.D. thesis. This award was presented at the Congress. She has contributed a Current Chemistry article on her work entitled "Electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes" (Aust.J.Chem. 2001, 54, 601-604). Cameron Lutton and Jonathan Read were awarded joint second prize for their research on nanostructured biomaterials. They produced a bone implant material in a scaffold-like architecture that incorporated hydroxyapatite nanoparticles. The pair shared AUD 250 and a 12-month subscription (print and electronic) to the Journal. Third prize was awarded to Yi-Anh Sha for research presented on the effects of substituent groups on ferroelectric liquid crystalline polymers. Sha received a 12-month subscription (print and electronic) to the Journal.

<www.iupac.org/publications/pac/2001/7307>
<www.publish.csiro.au/journals/ajc/contents.cfm>
<www.iupac.org/news/prize.html>

Photo courtesy of Dr. Greg Cash of the University of Queensland.

 

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