Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.4, July 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 4 (July)
.. 40th Council Meeting
.. IUPAC Activities
.. Reports from Symposia
.. Highlights from the Web
.. Report of 1998 Accounts
.. New Books and Publications
.. Provisional Recommendations
.. Awards
.. Conference Announcements
.. Conferences

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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 4

July 1999

Reports from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposia


21st IUPAC International Symposium on the Chemistry of Natural Products (ISCNP-21),

11-16 October 1998,
Beijing, China

This symposium was organized by the Chinese Chemical Society in Beijing. The meetings were held in the Modern Symposium Halls of the Beijing Friendship Hotel.

The scientific program of the meeting consisted of plenary lectures, invited session lectures, oral presentations, and posters. A broad range of aspects of natural product chemistry was discussed. Notably, the presentations dealt with structure determination by modern spectroscopic techniques, chemical and combined chemical/biocatalytic synthesis, and biological evaluation of diverse types of natural products. A plenary lecture by the Nobel laureate J.-M. Lehn, on the subject of "molecular recognition", in the broadest sense of the term, was a highlight of the symposium. The scientific level of the program was, on the whole, very good. A special reference must be made to the poster presentations, which were of impressive quality. The fact that many of the posters were contributed by young Chinese chemists attests to the high level of activity in the area of natural product chemistry that is in progress within the country.

Foreign participation, including accompanying persons, could be regarded as reasonable, considering the expense of traveling to the meeting from many parts of the world. The prospect of combining a touristic visit to China with a conference is always attractive, and that clearly appealed to many of the foreign participants.

Symposium facilities were of high quality. Meeting halls were comfortable, and the audiovisual arrangements were impeccable. Complimentary refreshments between sessions combined with the opportunity for facile contact between the participants provided a congenial atmosphere for scientific and social exchange. The organizers extended the proverbial Chinese hospitality during the days of the Symposium. All participants enjoyed and appreciated the official reception, the entertaining performance at the Acrobatic Theatre, and the symposium banquet in the famed Summer Palace. An excursion to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs outside Beijing provided another highlight of the meeting. There was an excellent social program for accompanying persons, and there were pre- and post-symposium tours in which many participated.

I felt privileged to represent IUPAC at the symposium, to convey the greetings of President Jortner to the assembled audience, and to participate actively in the proceedings by presenting some of our own work. It is a pleasure for me to place on record the appreciation of IUPAC to the Chinese Chemical Society and especially to the Chairman, Professor Xiaotian Liang, to Professor Xibai Qui, who served as Secretary and Contact Point, and to their many active colleagues, for the successful organization of ISCNP-21.

On a personal note, this was the first visit to China for my wife and me, and it was an immensely enjoyable experience. We saw and learned much during the short stay, and we made new friends. We hope to come again another time.

Ed. Note: Manuscripts from ISCNP-21 will be published in Pure Appl. Chem. 71(6), June (1999).

Professor U. K. Pandit
President, IUPAC Organic Chemistry
Division (III)


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