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Vol. 31 No. 5
September-October 2009

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

Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures

by Kurt E. Geckeler

It is well known and accepted that polymer materials and architectures will play a key role in science and technology in the 21st century. In view of the general importance and dramatic recent progress made on a global basis in the area of “Synthesis, Properties, and Applications of Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials,” the 4th International Symposium on Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials (MAM-08), was held from 7 to 11 September 2008 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The venue was the Conference Center on the campus of the University of Düsseldorf, which is located downtown in the vicinity of the Institute for Organic Chemistry and Macromolecular Chemistry. Düsseldorf is the capital of the Federal State of North-Rhine-Westphalia and is an important economic and cultural center of Germany.

The “Nobel Table” at the symposium banquet, which took place on a ship on the Rhine River. From left to right: F. Schue, K.E. Geckeler, A.H. Mueller, Y. Lee and D. Depnath (both GIST students), R. Huber (1988 Nobel Laureate in chemistry), and H. Ritter (symposium chair).

Over 350 scientists, originating from about 40 countries, attended the symposium, which was the fourth in a series of MAM meetings. The conference featured 3 plenary lectures, 48 invited lectures, 65 contributed lectures, and 161 poster presentations.

The objective of the MAM series is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for scientists engaged in the full spectrum of research, development, and application, in which they can discuss the current status and recent developments of these materials. The meetings provide an opportunity to overview the field by covering a wide range of topics. Themes are selected to accommodate a wide range of interests to facilitate interdisciplinary interactions in both academic fields and industrial science and technology.

During the opening session, Michael J. Dröscher, the official IUPAC representative, gave an introduction to IUPAC. Lectures were organized in three parallel sessions due to the high number of contributions. The first plenary lecture was given by Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn on “Dynamats: Dynamic Molecular and Supramolecular Materials.” The second one covered the topic of “Macromolecules, Assemblies, Particles, A Discovery Journey in Materials Synthesis,” and was presented by Klaus Mullen. Nobel Laureate Robert Huber gave the third plenary lecture on “Architecture, Structure, and Function of Molecular Machines for Protein Degradation.”

A view of Düsseldorf.

The high scientific level of the conference was based on the outstanding plenary and invited lectures as well as the many interesting contributed lectures and impressive posters, which were organized in two sessions in the spacious central hall that gave access to the different lecture halls. Several attractive poster awards sponsored by IUPAC, Wiley-VCH, and Springer Verlag, Germany, encouraged the presentation of excellent poster contributions. There was a tight schedule for the attendees, with the three parallel sessions only interrupted by short lunch and coffee breaks, which were the main times for scientific and other discussions.

The social program included a welcome reception and a banquet that was combined with a “cruise” on the Rhine river and a follow-up stroll through the old city of Düsseldorf. In addition, after the very well-attended final session, participants were invited to enjoy a half-day excursion to a typical German “Schloss” (castle).

Overall, the symposium was very stimulating and successful. It also provided an interdisciplinary forum for scientists and engineers to meet and discuss progress in the broad area of macromolecular and supramolecular science and technology. The next symposium in the series, MAM-10, will be held in 2010 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The conference chair is Ishen Kahwa.

Further information on the next meeting can be obtained at <www.mona.uwi.edu/mam-10>.

Kurt E. Geckeler <keg@gist.ac.kr> is chair and professor at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in Gwangju, South Korea.


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