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Report from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposium

16th IUPAC Conference on Chemical Thermodynamics (ICCT-2000), 6-11 August 2000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Chemical Thermodynamics website

Often, chemical thermodynamics is seen as an out-of-date branch of science that found its completion long ago. The inaccuracy of that statement was demonstrated at this vigorous conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beginning with the kilted bagpiper greeting the conferees as they entered the first morning, 462 enthusiastic delegates (including 85 students) and an additional 10 exhibitors and 111 accompanying persons enjoyed both challenging developments in modern thermodynamics and traditional Maritime hospitality. The overall participation at the conference was 78% from academia, 14% from industry, and 8% from government. Participants came from 40 countries (64 from Canada, 120 from elsewhere in North America, 9 from Central and South America, 150 from Europe, 95 from Asia, 5 from Australia and New Zealand, 11 from Africa, and 8 from the Middle East); the United States had the most participants.

The conference, held at Dalhousie University concurrently with the 55th Calorimetry Conference and the 10th Symposium on Thermodynamics of Nuclear Materials, included 6 plenary lectures [by Prof. Kenneth Marsh, Christchurch, New Zealand (role of reference materials); Prof. Urs von Stockar, Lausanne, Switzerland (driving force for microbial growth–enthalpy- as well as entropy-driven); Prof. John Prausnitz, Berkeley, California, USA (thermodynamics of structured fluids); Prof. Helmut Schwarz, Germany; Michio Yamawaki, Japan; and Frank DiSalvo, USA] and 4 award lectures [Rossini Award (highest international award in chemical thermodynamics), Prof. William Wakeham, London, England, UK (accurate measurements of transport properties of molten metals); Stig Sunner Memorial Award for young outstanding researchers, Prof. Svein Stølen, Oslo, Norway (temperature superconductors and conductor ceramics); Prof. Akira Inaba, Japan; and Hugh M. Huffman Memorial Award of the Calorimetry Conference, Prof. Alexandra Navrotsky, Davis, California, USA (refractory oxides and nitrides)].

In all, there were 16 symposia, covering the following categories: connections between theory and experiment, thermodynamics of materials (6 symposia: battery materials, molecular materials, in honor of P. A. G. O’Hare, pharmaceutical materials, superconductors, and other materials including polymers), nuclear materials, biological thermodynamics, standards (in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA), fluids and fluid mixtures (4 symposia: fluids and solutions under extreme conditions, organized systems and interfaces, fluid-phase equilibria, and other aspects of fluids), other aspects of chemical thermodynamics, and new approaches to thermodynamics education. The education symposium was a new venture for this conference, and it attracted a number of interesting talks concerning lecture demonstrations, as well as posters describing undergraduate laboratory experiments.

In addition, there was a preconference one-day short course on thermoanalytical techniques. In total, there were 527 papers–319 as oral presentations and 208 as poster papers. Based on the number of papers, this conference seems to have been the largest thermodynamics meeting ever held in North America, and almost tied for the largest worldwide (Osaka in 1996 had 529 accepted papers and also more participants). That the meetings taking place in conjunction with ICCT-2000 included the IUPAC Commission on Thermodynamics (I.2; see summary of minutes), the Advisory Board of the Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics, the Board and Members of the Calorimetry Conference, as well as the workshop on thermoanalytical techniques and a meeting of young thermodynamicists, clearly demonstrates the importance of such a scientific conference as the focal point for a number of international spinoff activities.

We are grateful to the following exhibitors and other sponsors for their support:

3M Canada (support for materials symposium);
Abbott Laboratories (support for pharmaceutical materials symposium);
Academic Press (exhibitor and donor of door prizes);
AEA Technology (exhibitor);
Allied Chemical Technologies (exhibitor);
American Chemical Society (exhibitor);
Arthur D. Little, Inc. (exhibitor and donor of door prizes);
Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences;
Atomic Energy Canada, Ltd. (support for symposium on thermodynamics of nuclear materials);
Bank of Nova Scotia;
Begell House, Inc. Publishers (exhibitor and donor of door prizes);
B&K Publishing;
Brigham Young University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (sponsor of James J. Christensen Memorial Award);
BYU DIPPR Thermophysical Properties Laboratory (exhibitor);
Canadian Society for Chemistry;
Calorimetry Sciences Corporation (exhibitor and sponsor of Hugh M. Huffman Memorial Award);
Clearwater Lobster Shops (donor of door prizes);
Dalhousie University (sponsor for reception at Monday poster session);
Dalhousie University, Department of Chemistry; Department of Tourism and Culture, Province of Nova Scotia;
Diagnostic Chemicals;
D. B. Robinson & Associates, Ltd (support for symposium on fluids and fluid mixtures);
Dow Chemical Company (sponsor of Giauque Student Travel Awards);
Educational Innovations, Inc.;
Eli Lilly Canada, Inc. (support for symposia on pharmaceutical materials and biothermodynamics);
Greater Halifax Conventions & Meetings Bureau;
Halifax Regional Municipality;
IUPAC (sponsor of Rossini Award Lecture and donor of door prize);
Kluwer Academic Publishers (donor of door prizes);
Lord Nelson Hotel;
Materials Chemistry Division of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (support for symposium on materials);
Mathis Instruments, Ltd. (exhibitor and cosponsor of conference bags);
National Institute of Standards and Technology (support for symposia on biothermodynamics, on connections between theory and experiment, and on standards);
National Research Council of Canada (sponsor of James A. Morrison Memorial Lecture);
NIST Standard Reference Data (exhibitor);
Nova Scotian Institute of Science;
Ontario Power Generation (support for symposium on thermodynamics of nuclear materials);
Oxford University Press (donor of door prizes);
Perkin Elmer, Inc. (exhibitor and cosponsor of conference bags);
Pharmacia Corp. (support for symposia on biothermodynamics and pharmaceutical materials);
Pinter Consulting Services (exhibitor);
Physical and Theoretical Division of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (support for symposium on connections between theory and experiment);
Prince George Hotel;
Sepracor (support for symposium on pharmaceutical materials);
Setaram (exhibitor and sponsor of Sunday evening reception);
Thermal Hazard Technology (exhibitor);and
Thermometric AB (sponsor of Stig Sunner Memorial Award).

In addition to the scientific program, there was an active social program, including a welcoming reception on Sunday evening, a concert of Nova Scotian folk music on Monday evening, and a bus tour of Halifax and Peggy’s Cove on Wednesday afternoon, finishing with a tour of the Citadel fortress. The program for accompanying persons also included a double-decker bus tour of Halifax, a visit to Canada’s oldest brewery, and tours of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Pier 21 (a historic gateway to North America for European immigration). The lobster banquet on Thursday evening at one of the renovated piers on the Halifax waterfront was a particular highlight for many participants. All registration and abstract submission for ICCT-2000 was carried out using the conference web site, and all communication was carried out by e-mail. This arrangement worked very well and allowed the paperwork associated with the conference to be handled more efficiently, from acceptance of papers (carried out by the program committee members through the web site), to preparation of conference receipts and name tags. Margaret Douma (Dalhousie University) served as Conference Assistant, Dr. Peter Kusalik (Dalhousie University) as Conference Secretary and Web Site Manager, Prof. Susan Boyd (Mount St. Vincent University) as Conference Treasurer, Prof. Jan Kwak (Dalhousie University) as Poster and Exhibit Coordinator, Dr. Gerrard Marangoni (St. Francis Xavier University) as Conference Editor for PAC manuscripts (which appear in the October 2000 issue, Vol. 72, No. 10), Donna Silvert (Dalhousie University) as Coordinator for the program for accompanying persons, Dr. Richard Verrall (AECL) as Chair of the 10th Symposium on Thermodynamics of Nuclear Materials, Prof. Jadwiga Sipowska (University of Michigan) as Chair of the Calorimetry Conference, and Prof. Mary Anne White (Dalhousie University) as ICCT-2000 Chair. Special thanks are due the International Advisory Committee, the Scientific Program Committee, and many others, especially the members of the White and Kusalik research groups, who helped make this conference a success.

For further details, including the full program and a list of participants, please see the conference web site (http://is.dal.ca/~icct).

Prof. Mary Anne White
Conference Chair and Associate Member, IUPAC
Commission on Thermodynamics I.2
Department of Chemistry
Dalhousie University

> Published in Chem. Int. 23(2), 2001

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