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Vol. 29 No. 6
November-December 2007

IUPAC in Torino, Italy

See Division Roundups for brief accounts of division and standing committee meetings at the GA.

Additional coverage of the IUPAC GA/Congress will appear in the
Jan-Feb 2008 CI.

IUPAC held its 44th General Assembly in Torino, Italy, from 4–12 August 2007. Over the 10 days of the biennial GA, 440 participants took part in an intense and intricate schedule of various committee and division meetings and events. Among the major events were four Round Table discussions and the World Chemistry Leadership Meeting (WCLM).

Current and future members of the Executive Committee (from left): Srinivasan Chandrasekaran, David Black, Nicole Moreau, Oleg Nefedov, Jung-Il Jin, Elsa Reichmanis, Bryan Henry, Christoph Buxtorf, and Leiv Sydnes. Photo by AK.

Integrated within the Congress schedule were a variety of workshops, including the Safety Training Program of the Committee on Chemistry and Industry; a discussion panel on Ethics in Science and Education that followed the presentation of the play Should’ve (see May-June 2007 CI), which was coordinated by the Committee on Chemistry Education; and a session on the Multiple Uses of Chemicals and Chemical Weapons. In addition, the Congress offered CHEM-BIO-TECH, the joint meeting of the IUPAC 1st Symposium on Chemical Biotechnology (ISCB-1) and the 8th Symposium on Bio-organic Chemistry (ISBOC-8).

Members of the U.S. delegation: Mark Cesa (left), Ted Becker, and Elsa Reichmanis. Photo by AK.

The WCLM, which attracted 75 participants, focused on the health and environmental safety of chemical products, emerging issues of societal concern, and the resulting regulatory trends. The innovative Round Table Discussions, which had 67 participants, generated valuable initiatives for the future. More coverage on these events will appear in the Jan-Feb 2008 CI.

Francis Gudyanga, representing the International Council for Science. Photo by AK.

The IUPAC Council meeting from 11–12 August had 111 delegates from 43 out of 49 National Adhering Organizations. Every full member of the Union is represented on the Council, and one of their functions is to elect the officers and members of the Bureau. For 2008–2009 the IUPAC Council elected Jung-Il Jin (Korea) as president, Nicole Moreau (France) as vice president, and John Corish (Ireland) as treasurer, while David Black (Australia) was

James Bull (left), PAC editor, and Christoph Buxtorf, treasurer. Photo by LM.

elected to a second four-year term as secretary general. Bryan Henry will become past president. The Council also elected the following individuals to be members of the Bureau for the 2008–2011 term: Anders Kallner (Sweden, reelected), Werner Klein (Germany, reelected), Ram Lamba (Puerto Rico), and Natalia Tarasova (Russia). The following elected members of the Bureau were elected to the Executive Committee: Chunli Bai (China), Srinivasan Chandrasekaran (India), and Elsa Reichmanis (USA).

President Bryan Henry presenting his State of the Union address. Photo by AK.
Rebecca Quine (left), coordinator of the 2009 Congress in Glasgow, and Alan Smith, UK Elected Member on the IUPAC Bureau and member of COCI. Photo by AK.

Council reviewed an agenda of more than 270 pages. This year, to help them with their task, the officers prepared an annotated agenda that lists a time for each item to be reviewed and whether it was for information, discussion, or decision. Over the course of the day-and-a-half meeting, delegates were briefed on progress made during the two-year period since the last meeting in Beijing in August 2005. The Council received the Statutory Report of the President on the State of the Union as well a report from the secretary general. Christoph Buxtorf presented the treasurer’s report in which he noted that while the Union’s reserves are adequate for the near to midterm, there are possible long-term financial issues that could arise due to the decline in income realized from the Union’s journal, Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC). The treasurer also noted a number of other developments, including the introduction of a Strategic Opportunities Fund and the success of the project system in promoting the work of IUPAC.

As standard procedure, the Council was asked to approve the recommendations approved by the Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols and published, or scheduled to be published, in PAC from July 2005 through October 2007. The Council also received a series of reports from all divisions and standing committees.

  • Among the most significant actions taken by Council were the following:
  • Council endorsed the plan to obtain United Nations approval of 2011 as an International Year of Chemistry <www.iupac.org/news/archives/2007/IYOC-2011proposal.html>.
  • IUPAC added three new National Adhering Organizations, bringing Cuba, Ethiopia, and Uruguay into the Union. The application of the Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones Químicas for Associated Organization status was also approved.
  • Council approved a proposal from the Colegio de Quimicos de Puerto Rico to host the 2011 IUPAC Congress and General Assembly. The 2009 Congress and General Assembly will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Already planning for the years ahead and reflecting on the election results: Jung-Il Jin (left), who will become IUPAC president on January 2008, Nicole Moreau, who will become vice president, and Anders Kallner, who will continue as an elected member of the Bureau.

At the Welcome Reception, on Saturday 4 August, IUPAC President Bryan Henry made his address on the state of the Union. The president emphasized that the principal strength of IUPAC lies in the talent, knowledge, and commitment of the more than 1000 volunteers who are involved in the IUPAC project system. He used examples of successful projects to demonstrate how the project system continues to allow the Union to meet its strategic goals.

Members of the Puerto Rican delegation rejoicing over the Council decision to have the IUPAC Congress in Puerto Rico in 2011: (from left) Carlos Tollinche, Gabriel Infante, and Edgard Resto. Photo by AK.
Sultan Abu-Orabi, president of the Jordanian Chemical Society, participating in his first Council meeting as an NAO. Photo by AK.

Henry also stressed that one of IUPAC’s priorities should be to nurture relationships with organizations whose aims and activities are in harmony with those of the Union. One such organization is the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, EuCheMS. Another such organization is the International Council for Science (ICSU). Chemistry has played an important role in ICSU from its founding in 1931, with IUPAC being one of its original members. Yet, IUPAC has not been fully involved with ICSU over the last few years. ICSU has recently opened regional offices for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, and IUPAC participated in the opening conferences at all three sites: Pretoria, Kuala Lumpur, and Panama. The hope is to use these contacts within these regional offices to help IUPAC become more involved with emerging countries and to extend our programs more effectively to these regions. The president concluded that these are exciting times for IUPAC; although the Union can celebrate many achievements, it should continue to search for effective ways to contribute to the application of chemical sciences to improvements in our global environment and to human conditions.

A small representation of the Italian support staff (always cheerful!), including Cristina Zanzottera (3rd from left) and Elena Amico di Meane (4th from left), and IUPAC staff Paul Leclair (center), Enid Weatherwax (3rd from right), John Jost (2nd from right), and Fabienne Meyers (right). Photo by MHe.

Following his address, Henry presented service recognition awards to the following retiring officers:

  • Prof. Leiv K. Sydnes, retiring as vice president, president, past president
  • Dr. Christoph F. Buxtorf, retiring as treasurer
    Dr. H. Luzius Senti, retiring as chairman of the Finance Committee
  • Dr. John M. Malin, retiring as chairman of CHEMRAWN
    Prof. Gus Somsen, retiring as chairman of the Project Committee
  • Prof. Christopher M.A. Brett, retiring as president of the Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division
  • Prof. Anthony R. West, retiring as president of the Inorganic Chemistry Division
  • Prof. Minoru Isobe, retiring as president of the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division
  • Prof. Ryszard Lobinski, retiring as president of the Analytical Chemistry Division
  • Dr. Kenneth D. Racke, retiring as president of the Chemistry and the Environment Division
  • Prof. Paul W. Erhardt, retiring as president of the Chemistry and Human Health Division
Young Observers Oleg Demchuk (left), from Lublin, Poland, and Ponnadurai Ramasami from Mauritius. Photo by LM.
Young Observer Kathleen Kelly (Bristol-Myers Squibb, USA) and John Grosso, member of the US National Committee for IUPAC. Photo by LM.
Members of the Russian delegation: Petr Fedotov (left), Natalia Tarasova (newly elected member of the Bureau), and Oleg Nefedov (retiring from the Bureau). Photo by AK.

This year, Young Observers again participated in GA sessions. Following the same model used in 2003 and 2005, IUPAC and the National Adhering Organizations of Canada, USA, and UK selected 17 chemists, with varied backgrounds and interests, from 7 countries: Canada, Poland, Romania, Mauritius, Russia, UK, and the USA. Their participation added vitality and a valuable perspective to the committee work in which they participated. In the past, several younger chemists have become directly involved in IUPAC, and from this year’s crop, project proposals have already been submitted.

wwww.iupac.org/news/archives/2007/44th_council/highlights.html

The editor thanks the following amateur photographers for their contributions: Anders Kallner (AK), Lucille Meyers (LM), Michael Hess (MHe), and Morton Hoffman (MHo).


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