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Vol. 29 No. 6
November-December 2007

From the Editor

At its recent meeting in August 2007, in Torino, Italy, the IUPAC Council approved the adhesion of three new National Adhering Organizations (NAOs), bringing Cuba, Ethiopia, and Uruguay into the Union. Prior to being “full” members, Cuba (Sociedad Cubana de Química) and Uruguay (PEDECIBA) were associate members, which essentially gave them an “observer” status and allowed them to gradually learn what IUPAC is about. Now, as formal members, they can engage in full in Union affairs, contribute to IUPAC’s mission, and benefit from their new status.

image of Fabienne MeyersBeing an NAO is one thing, but being an active member is more beneficial. In his column (page 2, in print), Past President Leiv Sydnes shows that active engagement is a win-win situation for the NAOs and their individual members, and for IUPAC. Becoming or retaining an NAO status may be a struggle for some organizations, but there may be ways and options worth exploring that can lead to a more valuable membership.

It is important to note that IUPAC is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). By becoming NAOs, the members of IUPAC benefit from this connection to an over-arching network of scientists. One implication of this relationship is that the Union and its members should observe and actively uphold the principle of the Universality of Science: “This Principle entails freedom of association and expression, access to data and information, and freedom of communication and movement in connection with international scientific activities, without any discrimination on the basis of such factors as citizenship, religion, political stance, ethnic origin, language, sex, or age.”

Adherence to IUPAC is also an expression of support for this principle, and as the Union enlarges, this principle becomes more significant. Broadening the Union’s membership is also a way to maximize diversity and maintain a global perspective.

As IUPAC welcomes three new NAOs, I wish to echo that welcome to individual chemists and scientists from these regions. If you, as a current member, have a colleague in Cuba, Ethiopia, and Uruguay, drop him/her a note about IUPAC and welcome them personally. If you don’t (yet) have a colleague in these regions, be curious and who knows what encounters you might make.

Fabienne Meyers
fabienne@iupac.org
www.iupac.org/publications/ci


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