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Vol. 30 No. 6
November-December 2008

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

Organic Synthesis

by Sung Ho Kang

The 17th International Conference on Organic Synthesis (ICOS 17), which was held in Daejeon, Korea, from 22–27 June 2008 at the newly opened Daejeon Convention Center, drew more than 1 000 participants, including 412 scientists from 32 countries. Considering the many thousands of practitioners of organic and organic-related chemical sciences in Korea, it was surprising that in its 30+ year history this conference had never been held on the Peninsula until this year. The citizens and chemical professionals of Korea, and of Daejeon, were grateful to finally host this extremely important professional meeting.

ICOS-17 organizers with conference co-chairs Eun Lee and Sunggak Kim. (from left) Hee-Seung Lee, Guncheol Kim, Hong-Seok Kim, Sung Ho Kang, Eun Lee, Sunggak Kim, Hyo-Won Lee, Hyun-Joon Ha, Han-Young Kang, Hee-Yoon Lee.

The organizers of ICOS-17 decided to hold the conference in Daejon because they felt its “Science Town” district would stimulate and encourage professionals and help motivate more young students in Korea and Asia to consider to the field of organic synthesis.

ICOS-17 offered expanded coverage of subjects from previous conferences with a different presentation format. The conference topics were grouped as follows:

  1. Discovery of New Reagents and Reactions
  2. Challenges and New Trends in Natural Products Synthesis
  3. Prospects in Bioorganic Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  4. Visions in Organic Materials Research
  5. Events in Drug Discovery and Process Development

Dean Toste (Univ. of California, Berkeley, USA) presented his hour-long Thieme-IUPAC prize lecture entitled “Gold(I) Catalysis for Organic Synthesis: Development, Applications and Asymmetric Catalysis.” The 51 other invited speakers (36 from academia, 13 from industry, and 2 from research institutes) delivered superb 40-minute lectures in one morning session and three parallel afternoon sessions. More than 50 percent of the 533 poster presentations were given by foreign participants in two non-parallel sessions.

ICOS-17 staff with organizing committee chairman Prof. Sung Ho Kang. (back row from left) Tae Woo Kim, Le Duy Hieu, Wonchul Lee, Sungkyoung Kang, Hyoung Cheul Kim; (front row from left) Hyo Young Kwon, Sung Ho Kang, Sanghye Shin, Celindro C. Nelma, Young Suk You.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the conference featured remarks from well-known chemists and non-chemists alike. The opening ceremony featured a welcome address by Eun Lee (conference co-chair) and addresses by Jung-Il Jin (president of IUPAC) and Young Kwan Kim (vice mayor of Daejeon Metropolitan City). During an enjoyable banquet that followed an impressive traditional Korean performance, a few important remarks of gratitude were made by Eun Lee, and of congratulation by David Black (secretary general of IUPAC) and by Tohru Fukuyama (University of Tokyo). The formal conference closing occurred through a farewell address by Sunggak Kim (conference co-chair).

Leiv Sydnes (University of Bergen) has been selected as the chairman of ICOS-18, to be held in Bergen, Norway from 2–5 August 2010.

Sung Ho Kang <shkang@kaist.ac.kr> was chairman of the organizing committee; he is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, Korea.


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