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Vol. 26 No. 3
May-June 2004

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

XVII Mendeleev Congress on General and Applied Chemistry

by Oleg Nefedov and Oleg Sinyashin

The XVII Mendeleev Congress on General and Applied Chemistry was held 21–26 September 2003 in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, Russia.

The Kazan Kremlin.

Mendeleev Congresses are the most prestigious Russian chemical forums, with great international importance. They determine the primary direction in the development of chemistry, chemical technology, and chemical education. Organized in well-known scientific and cultural centers of Russia, the Congress is held every fifth year. The first Mendeleev Congress was held in Petersburg in 1907; it was devoted to the memory of D. I. Mendeleev, who died that year.

The XVII Mendeleev Congress was organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); the Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society; the National Committee of Russian Chemists; the Ministry of Industry, Science, and Technologies of the Russian Federation; the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation; the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan; and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan. The congress was held under the sponsorship of IUPAC with the participation of President P. S. Steyn, Vice President L.K. Sydnes, and a group of IUPAC Bureau and Executive Committee members.

Twelve hundred scientists and specialists from the Russian Federation, CIS countries, and other European, Asian, and American countries participated in the XVII Mendeleev Congress in Kazan.

The congress opened at the modern Piramida hall, which was built in late 2002 in the heart of Kazan near the Kazan Kremlin. Academician O. M. Nefedov, president of the congress, delivered an opening address. Nefedov read a welcome message from the president of the Russian Federation, V. V. Putin, to the delegates and guests of the congress. The president of the Republic of Tatarstan, M.Sh. Shaimiev considered the prospects for developing chemical sciences, education, and industries in Tatarstan.

Fifteen plenary lectures were delivered at the opening and subsequent plenary sessions of the congress. Academician A. I. Konovalov, chair of the Presidium of the Kazan Scientific Center of the RAS, devoted his lecture to the history and current status of the Kazan school of organic chemistry.

The opening ceremony of the conference.

The plenary lecture of Nobel Prize winner J.-M. Lehn (France) was devoted to the general problems of the evolution and self-organization of chemical matter considered in terms of supramolecular chemistry, which has rapidly developed in recent years. The plenary lecture of academician A. L. Buchachenko (N. N. Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, RAS) was devoted to the physical chemistry of nanosized particles and the design of subminiature devices on this basis.

P. Atkins (UK), professor at Oxford University and chair of the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education, delivered a well-illustrated plenary lecture on various aspects of chemical education. In his plenary lecture, S. Hecker (Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA) considered the unusual properties of plutonium and other actinides and demonstrated the role of these elements in materials science.

Academician Yu.Ts. Oganesyan (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia) delivered a plenary lecture on the unique results of the nuclear synthesis of superheavy elements (113, 114, 115, 116, and 118) and on the experimental support for a hypothesis that so-called stability islands occur among these elements.

In his lecture, academician Yu.D. Tret’yakov (Moscow State University) considered chemical aspects and prospects for the development of new functional materials, including superconducting cuprates, magnetoresistive manganites, oxide ion conductors, electron-ion conductors, and photonic crystals, as well as new processes for the production of the above materials based on synergistic physicals and chemical processes.

E. N. Kablov (All-Russia Institute of Aviation Materials, Russia) presented a concept of the balanced doping of new high-temperature materials with single-crystal structures based on an analysis of the effects of new dopants (Re and Ru) on the physicochemical, kinetic, and structural parameters of the phase stability of alloys.

The plenary lecture of Professor H. Ringsdorf (Germany) demonstrated the widest possibilities of polymer chemistry for the development of anticancer polymer agents, including clinically used drugs, and selective systems for drug delivery directly to tissues and cells affected by malignant tumors. The plenary lecture of Academician V. A. Kabanov (Moscow State University) was devoted to original approaches to the development of a new generation of polymer-subunit vaccines based on conjugated synthetic polyelectrolytes with microbial antigens, the physicochemical mechanisms of their biological action, and the prospects for the use of the approach developed. Professor S. D. Varfolo-meev (Moscow State University) delivered a plenary lecture in which he characterized the state-of-the-art genetic engineering of enzymes, proteomics, biopolymer structure, and biocatalysis and analyzed new approaches to the design of drugs based on the knowledge of the structure of biological targets.

The plenary lecture of Nobel Prize winner R. Noyori (Japan) was devoted to the synthesis of complex practically important compounds “from almost nothing” (in his words) with the use of readily available raw materials and environmentally appropriate technologies. Dr. E. Reichmanis, president of the American Chemical Society, presented a plenary lecture that demonstrated how small (multidisciplinary) teams of specialists in various areas can rapidly and efficiently solve the problems of scientific and technological development and meet the society and market requirements.

Academician V. E. Fortov (Institute of the Thermal Physics of Extreme States, Joint Institute for High Temperatures, RAS, Moscow) delivered a plenary lecture on dynamic methods for the generation of high local energy concentrations in condensed media.

The final plenary lecture was delivered by academician G. B. Elyakov, who headed the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and the Far East Branch of the RAS for many years. He considered the results of extensive studies on the interpretation of structures of natural compounds from marine organisms, primarily, low-molecular bioregulators and a number of biopolymers, and the synthetic transformations of them.

A Russian-French symposium on supramolecular chemistry resulted in the organization of the Russian-French (European) laboratory on Supramolecular Systems in Chemistry and Biology under the aegis of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and CNRS. Joint research works, joint symposiums, summer schools for young scientists, and scientific exchanges will be held based on this laboratory.

The section “Chemical Education” and the Russian-American Workshop on Chemical Education focused attention on the problems of chemical education in Russia and the integration of education and scientific research.

About 1650 papers on the main branches of fundamental science, chemical education, new technologies, and historical aspects of chemistry were presented at the congress. About 200 scientists delivered oral presentations at section sessions and symposiums. More than 1400 papers were presented at poster sessions. The congress expressed the trend of the scientific community to support and develop the organization of interdisciplinary studies and the cooperation of scientific schools in Russia, as well as with the participation of foreign research centers.

Roundtable meetings on the environmental safety of the chemical industry (G. F. Tereshchenko, coordinator) and on the development of innovative activities in the Russian Federation (S. M. Aldoshin, coordinator) were held with great success. A roundtable meeting of the presidents of chemical societies from 15 CIS countries and other countries of Europe, Asia, and North America, with the participation of IUPAC and UNESCO leaders, took place for the first time in the past decade (Mar-Apr 2004 CI, p. 18). The meeting, which was coordinated by P. D. Sarkisov and O. M. Nefedov, focused on how to increase the participation of chemical societies from former Soviet Union countries in international scientific and engineering organizations. Participants agreed that these societies should be associated members of IUPAC and that a regional IUPAC organization should be founded later on.

The congress closing ceremony took place at the S. Saidashev State Grand Concert Hall, which is one of the most beautiful cultural centers of Kazan. In addition to two plenary lectures, the results of the congress were summarized, and the final document, On the Prospects for the Development of Chemistry, Chemical Education, and International Cooperation, was approved. Dr. R. N. Minnikhanov, prime minister of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, addressed the meeting.

The next XVIII Mendeleev Congress on General and Applied Chemistry will be held in Moscow in 2007 and will be devoted to a centenary of Mendeleev Congresses in Russia.

Professor Oleg Nefedov <nefedov@ras.ru> is head of the laboratory in the N. D. Zelinsk, Institute of Organic Chemistry in Moscow and the president of the XVII Mendeleev Congress. Professor Oleg Sinyashin <oleg@iopc.knc.ru> is director of the A. E. Arbuzov Institute of Organic and Physical Chemistry in Kazan and chief secretary of the XVII Mendeleev Congress.


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