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Vol. 28 No. 1
January-February 2006

IUPAC IN BEIJING—Division Roundups Part II

Division V. Analytical Chemistry
Division VI. Chemistry and the Environment
Division VII. Chemistry and Human Health
Interdivisional Subcommittee on Materials Chemistry
Committee on Chemistry Education
—Committee on Chemistry and Industry

Former COCI Chairman David Evans and Michael Droescher, German National Representative on COCI.

Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI)
David A. Evans, Chairman

In essence, COCI’s role is to act as a key focus for the “A” (i.e., Applied) in IUPAC by promoting topics and activities of interest and relevance to the chemical industries. So what can be said about COCI after its meeting in Beijing? The clear answer is that COCI is alive and kicking, as evidenced by the attendance of more than 95 percent of committee members, from over 20 countries, who were active contributors to the meetings. Over the years, a great deal of social cohesion has developed amongst group members, again in evidence during the formal meetings, visits, and social gatherings organized in Beijing.

The undoubted highlight was a delightful banquet graciously hosted by Mr. Xianghong Cao and senior colleagues from SINOPEC which set the scene for a magical stay in Beijing. Another key event was a visit of the group to the Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Industry (BRICI), organized and hosted by Jinliang Qiao, one of our long-serving Chinese delegates. COCI is particularly indebted to colleagues at SINOPEC for making our visit to China such a success.

With regard to formal committee events, mention must be made of the Safety Training Program Workshop held as part of the Congress. A parallel event was held at the Ottawa Congress in 2003, which I have often described as the best session of that Congress, but regrettably poorly attended. I can report that the symposium in Beijing was also the best session of the Congress (at least in my opinion!) and was well attended! The Safety Training Program and associated Workshops are COCI’s flagship activities and the event in Beijing acted as a fitting tribute to its continuing success.

COCI Members and Safety Training Program participants at a tour of SINOPEC research facilities in Beijing (from left): Isiaka O. Bakare (Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria), Esma Toprak (National Representative on COCI from Turkey), and Aldo B. Alles (member from Uruguay).

Other notable successes include progress with new projects in Responsible Care, from Bernard West, and nanotechnology, with Alan Smith, and a developing interest in biometrics from Colin Humphris. In the area of the public appreciation of chemistry, the joint CCE/COCI/CHEMRAWN meeting featured a lively and informative discussion of an important paper by Peter Mahaffy (CCE) in which it was concluded that a key to gaining a better image for our craft is education of ourselves as to how best to communicate issues. This is an important pointer for future programs in this area.

COCI regards the Company Associates (CA) program as crucial to its ability to engage chemical companies in IUPAC affairs. There have been several notable achievements during the biennium including a stalwart effort in recent months by Ms. Khalida al-Dalama of Kuwait who has recruited three new CAs. However, one key objective that remains for the future is to streamline the recruitment process with active cooperative engagement of the NAOs, the Secretariat, and COCI.

Mark Cesa, of Innovene, USA, is the new chairman of COCI.


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