25 No. 2
March - April 2003
General 's Column
would like to use these pages of Chemistry International
(CI) to comment on three matters that may be of
interest to our readers: conferences, affiliates, and leadership.
Recent developments and potential actions in these areas will
have important ramifications for future IUPAC programs.
many chemists, IUPAC is probably best known for the many conferences
it sponsors, some planned and coordinated by our divisions
and operational committees, but many initiated independently
by groups throughout the world. Sponsorship by IUPAC attests
to the quality of the scientific program and indicates the
host countrys assurance that scientists from all countries
may participate. A calendar and map distributed with the January
issue of CI lists the conferences sponsored in 2003.
Papers from many of these conferences are published in Pure
and Applied Chemistry (PAC); in fact, about
half of PAC consists of these papers.
sponsorship does not mean that we automatically provide financial
support, but we have had some programs to support conferences,
including the series on "New Directions in Chemistry" and
"Conferences in Developing and Economically Disadvantaged
ad hoc Conference Policy Development Committee has recently
taken a comprehensive look at all our conference policies.
As a result of the committees findings, the Bureau has
approved some changes in operations. Major changes are as
New Directions program will provide funds on a competitive
basis to support one or more conferences each biennium in
innovative fields (such as those already held on advanced
materials), as proposed by divisions and standing committees.
Developing Countries program will provide funds to support
conferences in developing and economically disadvantaged
countries that are either full or associate members of IUPAC.
Divisions and committees will propose support for conferences
based on their assessments that the conferences are innovative
in subject matter or location, fit into IUPAC programs,
and would benefit from modest financial support.
new program will provide support for IUPAC Lecturers to
give talks at conferences otherwise not supported by IUPAC
in developing and economically disadvantaged countries.
Divisions and committees will identify eminent scientists
who are willing to participate in conferences and perhaps
also present talks at universities in the host country.
are available for these programs for 2003 and, if approved
by Council, USD 65 000 will be budgeted for these programs
Policies and procedures for approving sponsorship of conferences
will be revised to simplify the process while ensuring adequate
review of applications.
The responsibilities of the official IUPAC representative
to each sponsored conference will be modified to provide
better integration with other IUPAC programs.
Policies for publication of lectures from sponsored conferences
will be modified to provide more flexibility in the number
of papers accepted from each conference and to ensure adequate
refereeing of the papers. Under this system, PAC will
now have a scientific editor who will work with individual
conference editors to produce proceedings from conferences.
I am pleased to report that Professor
James Bull of the University of Cape Town, South Africa,
has been appointed editor of PAC. He has served as
special topics editor of PAC since 1998, a duty that
will now be subsumed within his broader responsibilities.
You will soon hear more from Professor Bull about his plans
"Members" are National Adhering Organizations (NAOs), but
in 1983 the IUPAC Council initiated an Affiliate Member Program
(AMP) to foster close relations with individual chemists throughout
the world. For a number of years we have had about 5000
Affiliate Membersa substantial number, but small compared
with the million or so chemists in the world. As we approach
the 20th anniversary of the AMP, the Secretariat and I will
be working with our NAOs and national chemical societies to
increase the number of Affiliate Members and to strengthen
we increase the number of paid Affiliate Members, we
will be able to provide additional sponsored memberships
. . .
Affiliate Members join and pay dues through their chemical
societies, but IUPAC provides free membership for over 500
chemists in developing countries. As we increase the number
of paid Affiliate Members, we will be able to provide additional
sponsored memberships and thus bring CI and other benefits
to chemists for whom such communication often provides a scientific
are always happy to receive input and ideas from Affiliate
Members and to discuss issues raised by affiliates in the
pages of CI. In addition, I hope that all affiliates
will subscribe to the free IUPAC e-News, an informal e-mail
newsletter distributed bimonthly. To subscribe or update your
e-mail address, go to <www.iupac.org>
and click on "Readers Corner" and choose e-news from
of Divisions and Committees
heart of IUPACs programs lies in our eight scientific
divisions and three operational committees. The officers and
members of the division and operational committees are responsible
for developing new initiatives, approving and managing a wide
variety of projects, and overseeing conferences and a broad
range of other activities. We depend on having committee members
who are well-qualified scientists, who are able and willing
to devote time and effort to IUPAC, and who collectively represent
the geographically diverse countries that comprise IUPAC.
are now in the midst of a process to select these committee
members and their officers for the next biennium. As the first
step, I have this year for the first time made a formal request
to all NAOs for suggested candidates for membership on various
committees. A number of NAOs have provided many good suggestions
to create an initial pool of names that will be augmented
by our nominating committees and input from many individuals.
As always, we welcome all suggestions about people, ideas,
and projects that might help IUPAC contribute to the advancement
of worldwide chemistry.
D. Becker <[email protected]>
has been secretary general since 1996 and has been a member
of various IUPAC bodies for 30 years. He is presently a scientist
emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland,
last modified 6 March 2003.
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