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Vol. 31 No. 5
September-October 2009

From the Editor

Each time l write this column, I look back through the proof of the issue at hand or I simply think about what has come across my desk recently. This time, most immediate in my mind was IUPAC’s image of Fabienne Meyers2009 General Assembly in Glasgow. And, as expected, the buzzword at the GA was “the International Year of Chemistry.”

“I Y C two eleven” is now “something” tangible to which we are all committed, and throughout the GA one could sense the enthusiasm and eagerness to participate. Every scheduled meeting had an agenda item devoted to the IYC, including the Council Round Table Discussions and the World Chemistry Leadership Meeting.

For those of you eager to get started on IYC 2011, there is one thing you can do right away, and that is to visit <www.chemistry2011.org> (or iyc2011.org) and join the IYC network. In its current phase, the website offers background information and ideas, and is essentially a virtual meeting place. We will be building on the site and soon it will provide more functionality. In the end, it will be the central repository of resources and references and of activities being planned for the IYC.

Reflecting now on the GA and reviewing this issue, there is something I read in the treasurer’s column which makes me appreciate why IUPAC is special. Aside from the numbers and the flux in the financial markets, the treasurer points out the extraordinary good value that the enormous range of activities carried out within IUPAC represent. This, he added, we owe to the willingness of our numerous volunteers. It is exactly this willingness that makes the GA a pretty unique event. Individuals come to meet, but not in a selfish pursuit; it is not about singular accomplishments, but clearly about a better good. Accordingly, each committee sets its goals to match up with the Union’s mission of promoting the norms, values, standards, and ethics of science.

Glasgow was my sixth GA; Berlin in 1999, Brisbane in 2001, Ottawa 2003, Beijing 2005, Torino 2007, they were all different. The pace is set by the officers, and more so by the problems at hand. In Berlin, and for several GAs after that, the project system was the buzzword, which was followed by improving communication and efficiency, and streamlining operations. These were, and still are, internal challenges. However, to embrace now the IYC 2011, which we do with so much enthusiasm, seems to me a reflection of how confident we are that we can do better, not only for IUPAC, not only for chemistry, but for the world. Start planning, and keep in touch with us, with your national chemical society, academy, colleagues, and friends.

Fabienne Meyers
fabienne@iupac.org


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