I.4 CORE ACTIVITIES
The broad current spectrum of the core activities contributes towards
IUPAC goals and adheres to the principles. The general framework of
the core activities should be maintained, with changes, extensions
and additions. It may be useful to subdivide the core activities as
A. SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS
A1. IUPAC Congresses.
In the past, some of the biennial Congresses of IUPAC constituted
an outstanding forum for the presentation of modern trends and frontiers
of chemical research. Typical (though random) examples constitute
the 1955 Congress in Switzerland and the 1969 Congress in Australia.
It appears that during the last decade erosion of the quality has
occurred, with the Congresses manifesting lack of scientific focus
and exhibiting good, but not outstanding, plenary and invited presentations.
Furthermore, there was very limited involvement of IUPAC bodies in
the scientific planning and the thematic organization. It was felt
that IUPAC should strive towards the redefinition of the format, scope,
means of scientific organization and the involvement of its bodies
in the planning, shaping and executing of the scientific program of
the Congresses. In 1994 the Bureau and the Council approved a new
format for the IUPAC Congresses, based on the following elements:
(1) Goals. The IUPAC Congress should constitute a central, high-quality,
international event in modern chemistry. (2) Format and name. The
Congress will be named 'IUPAC Congress on Frontiers in Chemistry'.
It will focus on several topics at the frontiers of modern chemistry.
In addition, the organizing country will be welcome to advance one
modern research area of local interest. It is aimed that this new
format for the biennial Congress will attract about 1000 scientists,
ensuring effective scientific communication and information exchange.
The rules for scientific planning and organization, together with
the appointment of the International Advisory Board and of the Local
Organizing Committee, were approved. The new rules for the IUPAC Congress
were brought as optional suggestions to the Swiss Chemical Society,
who kindly organizes the 1997 IUPAC Congress in Geneva. The full changes
will be implemented for the 1999 IUPAC Congress in Berlin, organized
by the German Society of Chemists.
A2. IUPAC Sponsored Symposia and Workshops.
These provide a good service to the chemistry community and should
be continued. It should be noted, however, that (i) the quality of
the Symposia and workshops is heterogeneous and (ii) the involvement
of IUPAC bodies in the scientific planning and thematic organization
of these IUPAC sponsored activities is usually quite minor, although
IUPAC sponsorship is helpful for the enhancement of the visibility
of its activities. Without invoking any organizational changes, IUPAC
should consider the implementation of symposia or workshops on topics
at the frontiers of modern chemistry (some current random examples
are supermolecular chemistry, cluster chemistry, surface chemistry
and tunneling microscopy, nanometer technology, molecular electronics,
neural network computing and femtosecond dynamics). This activity
will help the chemistry community to focus on emerging important research
fields, which are of great significance to science and to future industrial
A3. Modes of International Collaboration.
New modes of international cooperation and information exchange should
be considered. Scientific networks, involving geographically spread
research groups in well defined novel fields, exchanging information
and organizing workshops, were successfully initiated by the European
Science Foundation. IUPAC should explore the feasibility of the establishment
of international networks in some selected modern areas of chemistry.
A4. Encouragement of Young Scientists.
These issues pertain to the inspiration and involvement of the young
generation of chemists in the IUPAC Congresses. Two avenues should
be pursued. Firstly, outstanding young research chemists should be
encouraged to present invited lectures and contribute to symposia
within the framework of the IUPAC Congress. Secondly, young research
workers and graduate students should be encouraged to attend the Congress.
In developed countries support for these young scientists should be
solicited from local bodies supporting basic and applied research.
In developing countries attempts should be made to secure support
for the attendance of young scientists for international agencies,
B1. Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC).
This constitutes the official Journal of the Union. At one time the
Journal made significant contributions to worldwide communications
in the chemical science. Through this journal IUPAC disseminates recommendations
on chemical terminology and methods and publishes lectures from many
of its symposia. The PAC consists of two parts:
- Part A. Topical publication of IUPAC Congresses and Symposia.
- Part B. Technical information on nomenclature, standards, codification
It has been suggested to split the publication of PAC into two separate
parts. However, such a separation of PAC is not advantageous, as it
will result in a serious decrease in the circulation of the journal
and diminish the scope of the spread of chemical information. Instead,
in the future PAC has to adapt to major current changes in the spread
of scientific information. This will require modifications in the
contents of Part A and modernization of access to information in Part
Two major trends in scientific information spread and retrieval make
the reassessment of the future content and mode of publication of
PAC imperative. Firstly, the proliferation of scientific information
raises serious questions regarding Part A of PAC, which must become
scientifically more attractive. Secondly, the emerging of new modes
of electronic publication will have an audible impact on the PAC in
the future. The proliferation of scientific information requires uniqueness
of the contents of Part A. This can be accomplished by several parallel
approaches. The publication of topical special issues each addressing
an emerging research field (e.g., nanometer chemistry, molecular electronics,
biological chemistry) will be of primary importance in information
spread on frontline chemical research areas, which are still in formative
stages. Each such topical special issue will be handled by an authoritative
guest editor. Furthermore, it is recommended not to publish the entire
Symposia Proceedings, but only the plenary and invited lectures, possibly
in extended form. The transfer to electronic publication for both
parts A and B requires careful planning. The electronic version of
PAC should not provide just computer page imaging. Rather, it must
be supplemented by added value information retrieval for part A (e.g.,
text search, accessibility of references and their authors, imaging
of three dimensional chemical and biological structures) and computer
access in part B. It is recommended that PAC will remain integrated,
with modification of the topical presentation in part A and with subsequent
adoption of added value elements in future electronic publication
for the presentation of both parts A and B.
B2. Chemistry International.
This should constitute a central source of worldwide news in chemical
research and education and a source of information on the current
activities of IUPAC. Three extensions of this publication are proposed.
First, extension of the scope of subjects of general interest to the
international chemical community, so that the journal will provide
an international version of reports on highlights of chemical research,
similar to those presented in Nature and in Science (on broader scientific
developments) and in Chemical and Engineering News or in Chemistry
in Britain (on the local national level). Some good progress was made
during the last two years in the presentation of reviews of new research
fields in chemistry. Second, reviews on the state of chemical research
and education in various countries should be presented. Third, general
issues pertaining to chemistry and society, e.g., scientific aspects
of reduction of chemical weapons, ethics in science and science policy
problems related to chemistry, should be addressed. Chemistry International
should be extended to contribute to international communication in
the world chemical community, assist relevant information flow to
developing countries, highlight central issues of chemistry, enhance
the visibility of the Union and provide an instrument for the Union
to serve as "A voice for Chemistry".
B3. Chemistry for the 21st Century.
This is an excellent program which made significant contributions
to the spread of information on high-quality frontline research fields
and on mission oriented activities in chemistry sponsored by IUPAC.
Recent volumes published or planned include high temperature superconductivity,
chemistry of advanced materials, perspectives in catalysis, medicinal
chemistry, chemistry of the atmosphere and global change, ultrafast
processes in chemistry and photobiology, and molecular electronics.
There were also plans to publish, within the framework of this series,
the proceedings of some of the CHEMRAWN conferences (VII and VIII)
on Chemistry and the Atmosphere - Impact on Global Change and on Chemistry
and Sustainable Development. Publication of the important proceedings
of the CHEMRAWN Conferences within this series is eroding its uniqueness,
and these proceedings should be published outside this series. The
excellent program of Chemistry for the 21st Century will be terminated
towards 1999. Any continuation, or updating should depend on the availability
of good and timely monographs edited by outstanding scientists.
B4. White Books.
This new publication program will present an integrated scientific
and mission-oriented overviews of significant problems with large-scale
scientific-industrial-environmental implication. Each White Book will
contain articles by leading scientific and industrial leaders. The
first White Book on chlorine has been published as a special issue
of PAC and has impact on the industrial chemistry community. The good
and significant program of White Books should be continued.
B5. New Modes of Information Transfer.
These involve information transfer in scientific research and education.
The use of computer communication and the internet in chemical information
transfer will become widespread. Added value electronic publication
modes should be adopted for PAC parts A and B. Consider preparation
of Video programs of selected plenary lectures at IUPAC Congresses.
C. IDENTIFICATION OF NEW RESEARCH FIELDS
This may involve an extension of IUPAC's activities in the enhancement
of high-quality scientific research on the international level. New
research fields in chemistry are characterized by:
- High-quality, significant recent scientific developments;
- Cutting edge for new technologies;
- International dimensions.
The identification of such new research fields is of considerable
significance for the international research community, for the chemical
industry and for national and regional bodies interested in the enhancement
of international collaboration of their members. The involvement of
IUPAC in the identification, characterization and recommendations
concerning new research fields will render valuable international
service and will also be useful for the internal activities of the
Divisions. It is recommended to explore the feasibility of setting
a working group on new research fields. The mode of activity can involve
a workshop followed by a dual report including one part for the scientific
community followed by a second part for the decision makers in science.
A necessary condition for success will be the involvement of scientific
leadership in this endeavour. Some of these activities may be conducted
in collaboration with and support of national bodies who are interested
in the international dimension of chemical research.
D. CONTRIBUTIONS OF CHEMISTRY TO SOCIETY AND TO
The activities of the Union in this important area should rest on:
- Independence and objectivity of IUPAC, which should lead to an
- Responsibility for chemistry on the international scene.
- Reduction of conflicts between governmental, scientific and industrial
A most important contribution of IUPAC to society will involve coordination
of the advancement of scientific-chemical education (section E).
Outstanding current activities of IUPAC, i.e., the CHEMRAWN program
and the scientific aspects of destruction of chemical weapons, should
be continued. The two newly formed divisions of Chemistry and the
Environment and Chemistry and Health have to formulate plans of activity.
The biennial joint UNESCO-IUPAC program on 'Chemistry for Life and
the Environment" (section G1) will address global problems of scientific
education and science policy issues. IUPAC should consider becoming
involved in some strategic issues of chemical research (e.g., chemical
production techniques optimizing conservation of energy and raw materials,
and global sustainable development). Such activities will require
collaboration of the chemical community with industry and with other
E. EDUCATION IN CHEMISTRY
The central issue of science education in general, and education
in chemistry in particular, pertains to the preservation and advancement
of global human capital. Meaningful contributions to this endeavour
constitute a major challenge for the Union. IUPAC, as an international
worldwide organization, must consider in this context the diversity
of cultural approaches and the different conditions and needs in distant
parts of the world. IUPAC should consider to contribute in a selective
way to educational programs on all levels, i.e., professional training,
university undergraduate and graduate education, secondary and even
elementary school education. It should be emphasized that chemistry,
due to its interdisciplinary nature, provides the basis for scientific
training in the natural sciences. The problems facing the global chemistry
education system involve the erosion of scope and quality of science
education, resulting in science illiteracy in the developed world
and the need for qualified scientific manpower in the developing world.
The Committee on Teaching in Chemistry (CTC) is involved in aspects
of chemistry teaching on the secondary, undergraduate and graduate
It is imperative to realize that education on all levels is a local
governmental responsibility. The involvement of IUPAC should rest
(1) Formulation of guidelines based on international experience,
authority and objectivity and
(2) Initiation of specific high-impact small-scale programs.
On the level of secondary school education, the contribution of IUPAC
G. COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
G1. Cooperation with UNESCO. A biennial IUPAC-UNESCO program
was established on 'Chemistry for Life and Environment'. A Board of
Trustees, the 'International Chemistry Council' (ICC) consisting of
distinguished scientists, was established under the co-chairmanship
of the UNESCO director general and the IUPAC president. Concurrently,
an executive body was appointed. The ICC is preparing programs on
education in chemistry in developing countries, on the establishment
of a regional African Center for Chemistry, on networks and fellowships
for Latin America, on global topics of water and energy and on public
G2. The Extension of Collaboration with Neighboring Scientific
Organizations will be desirable. The interdisciplinary nature
of chemistry requires enhanced cooperation with neighboring scientific
unions, e.g., biochemistry and physics. The first step should involve
organization of joint symposia with these unions.
G3. The Extension of the Scope of Collaboration with ICSU
will be desirable. Some of the strategic issues, e.g., young scientists,
research planning in newly formed countries, research and education
in developing countries, scientific "Peace Corp" program, and ethics
in science, can constitute the basis for cooperation with ICSU.
H. HUMAN CAPITAL FOR IUPAC
Most urgent and important is the recruitment of high-quality academic
and industrial scientists for the activities of IUPAC. The avoidance
of "self breeding" in the Union activities is imperative. The involvement
of high-quality scientists will enhance the quality, relevance, uniqueness,
interdisciplinary nature and visibility of the Union's activities.
Indeed, these elements should attract some of the prominent scientists
who extend the horizons of chemistry and those working on the borderlines
of chemistry and biology or chemistry and materials science to contribute
to IUPAC activities.
Another related important issue involves mechanisms for the encouragement
of young scientists. Involvement of young, high-quality, scientists
in IUPAC congresses, symposia and workshops (section A4) will serve
this goal. The Union should consider the establishment of two fellowships,
one for science writing and one for the best Ph.D thesis by a student
from a developing country (completed during the last three years).
These fellowships will convey a dual message regarding the promotion
of science and of science communication.
I. CORE ACTIVITIES AND PRINCIPLES
In Table 2 we provide an overview of the
compatibility of the core activities with the science policy principles,
as outlined in the previous chapter.
ASSESSMENT OF CORE ACTIVITIES
Table 2.a Scientific Meetings
Table 2.b Publications
Tabel 2.c Other Core Activities