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Vol. 25 No. 2
March - April 2003

Canadian Participation in IUPAC

The National Research Council Canada is currently organizing and preparing for the 39th IUPAC Congress and 86th Conference of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, from 10-15 August 2003. L’Actualité chimique candienneCanadian Chemical News (ACCN) asked Professor B. R. Henry, currently chair of the Canadian National Committee (CNC) for IUPAC and scientific program chair for the 2003 IUPAC/CSC Congress, to summarize for their (mostly Canadian) readers the activities of the CNC within IUPAC. For the CI reader or the IUPAC community at large, the following excerpt from that article offers an inside look at Canadian participation, but also a description of our forthcoming and welcoming host in Ottawa.

Bryan R. Henry

by Bryan R. Henry

In Canada, our National Adhering Organization (NAO) is the National Research Council (NRC). Canadian participation in IUPAC is facilitated by the Canadian National Committee for IUPAC (CNC-IUPAC). This committee, which is drawn from NRC, academia, and industry, acts as an interface between IUPAC and the Canadian chemical community. It is also responsible for nominating Canadians to serve on the various IUPAC committees, and represents Canada every two years at the IUPAC General Assembly. CNC-IUPAC also administers an awards program that is funded in part by Canadian Company Associates. This program helps young Canadian chemists and chemical engineers present papers at IUPAC-sponsored conferences outside of continental North America. They also participate in other activities such as a current project which aims at collecting used chemistry books and providing them to developing countries.

Canada has always enjoyed a high profile within IUPAC. Bill Schneider, past president of NRC, served as IUPAC president some years ago. Currently, Nelson Wright is chair of the Committee on Chemistry and Industry, Tom Tidwell is the president of the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division, John W. Lorimer is the chair of the Project Committee, and Peter Mahaffy is the chair of the Subcommittee on the Public Understanding of Chemistry. These individuals and a number of others including Douglas Stephan, Murray Moo-Young, and Gerald Stephenson serve on the various divisional committees.

One of the most tangible reasons to celebrate Canadian participation in IUPAC is the upcoming IUPAC/CSC Congress in Ottawa. Planning for this Congress began in 1995 with discussions between CSC, IUPAC, and NRC. These three parties ultimately reached an agreement setting out the conditions for a joint CSC-IUPAC conference. The bid was presented by CNC-IUPAC at the 1999 IUPAC meeting in Berlin and accepted by the Council.

CSC has agreed to change the dates of its annual conference to permit a single major chemical conference in August 2003. The Congress will be somewhat larger than our regular meeting and broader in scope. Special symposia are planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the solution of DNA and the opening of the Canadian Light Source in 2004. There will be a special symposium on the Public Understanding of Chemistry and another on Green Chemistry. In addition there is an especially strong set of divisional and interdivisional symposia devoted to forefront science. In all, 51 symposia are scheduled in 144 sessions. Each day will begin with an invited plenary lecture delivered by Professors Polanyi, Fréchet, and Smalley, respectively, and by the winners of the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal and the Montréal Medal.

We expect 2500 participants with about 800 oral presentations and 1200 posters. The preliminary program has been published and details are available at the conference Web site <www.iupac2003.org>. Scientific sessions will be held at the Westin Hotel and the Ottawa Congress Centre. Thanks to support from a number of organizations including IUPAC, we will be able to assist the attendance of younger scientists both from developed and economically disadvantaged counties. The Canadian chemical industry and a number of other donors have provided generous sponsorship exceeding $CAN 150 000.

2003 Ottawa promises to be an outstanding conference at which we can showcase Canadian chemistry on an international stage.

Reproduced from ACCN, February 2003 issue.

Bryan Henry <chmhenry@uoguelph.ca> is Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Guelph, Ontario. His research field is laser spectroscopy and theoretical chemistry. He is a past president of the CSC, a past chair of the CIC, and the 2001 winner of the Montreal Medal. He is currently chair of CNC-IUPAC and scientific program chair for the 2003 IUPAC/CSC Congress.


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