I  U  P  A  C


Vice President's Critical Assessment - 1997


The recommendations for restructuring are based on the elements outlined in the preceding section (II.2). The recommendations for restructuring rest on the following principles:

(A) Interdisciplinary Unification.

(B) Closing of gaps in the Union's activities. The following guidelines are invoked:

  1. The structure of IUPAC should be compatible with current scientific trends and mission-oriented goals.
  2. The creation of the two new divisions, i.e., Chemistry and the Environment (VI) and Chemistry and Human Health (VII), serves important mission-oriented goals of the Union.
  3. The integration, consolidation and coordination of the activities of several divisions should be implemented to respond to issues of interdisciplinary unification, i.e., (A1) - (A3) of section (II.2).
  4. The extension of activities of a single division or of a pair of divisions to respond to closing of the gaps, issues (B1) and (B2) of section (II.2).
  5. An evolutionary process of restructuring should be undertaken with a thorough definition of principles, program advancement and time table for implementation.

II.3.1 Physical Chemistry Division (I) and Analytical Chemistry Division (V)
An important consequence of the principle of disciplinary unification, i.e., issues (A1) - (A3) of section (II.2), is the strong overlap between the techniques and concepts of modern analytical and physical chemistry. Modern work in mass-spectrometry, laser-spectroscopy, surface properties, supersonic beams and trace interrogation, utilize identical advanced techniques. Furthermore, new advanced analytical methods, such as remote spectroscopic environmental monitoring, which utilize lasers and telescopic detection, provide a bridge between physical and analytical chemistry. In surveying the activities of the two divisions, 35 projects of the analytical chemistry division rest on the experimental and theoretical basis of physical chemistry. Leading physical chemists are currently making central contributions to analytical chemistry. Of course, also in the traditional important areas of thermodynamics and electrochemistry, there is a considerable overlap between the two disciplines.

It is recommended to undertake the integration, consolidation and coordination of the relevant activities of the Divisions of Physical Chemistry (I) and of Analytical Chemistry (V), with the specific advantages of:

  • A significant upgrading of the scientific-technological quality of many programs undertaken by the two Divisions.
  • Enhancement of the mission-oriented aspects of activities of the Physical Chemistry Division.
  • Optimization of the allocation of resources.

In September 1996 the Presidents of Divisions (I) and (V) were asked to address the following issues:

  1. Principles for the integration, consolidation and coordination of the relevant activities of the Divisions of Physical Chemistry and of Analytical Chemistry.
  2. A program for the integration, consolidation and coordination of the relevant activities of Divisions (I) and (V).

The response of the presidents of Divisons (I) and (V) (see Addendum on Correspondence between VP and DPs) was:

1. President of the Division of Physical Chemistry (I).
1.1 Response to recommendations of VP.
1.1.1 Agreement with principles.
1.1.2 Implementation requires great caution and broad support.
1.1.3 Concentrate the activities on thermodynamics in the Physical Chemistry Division (I), integrating

Commission I.1 - Thermodynamics
Commission V.6 - Equilibrium Data
Commission V.8 - Solubility Data

1.1.4 Concentrate the activities on electrochemistry in Analytical Chemistry Division, (V) integrating

Commission I.3 - Electrochemistry
Commission V.5 - Electroanalytical Chemistry

1.1.5 Set working parties on issues 1.1.3 and 1.1.4.
1.2 Division Activities.
1.2.1 Flexibility in ratio of the numbers of Core/Floating members.
1.2.2 Relate at least a part of finances to a fixed sum per TM.

2. President of Division of Analytical Chemistry (V)
2.1 Response to recommendations of VP.
2.1.1 Support of changes proposed.
2.1.2 Create a powerful unit on thermodynamics within the Physical Chemistry Division (I) according to the procedure outlined in section 1.1.3.
2.1.3 Establish strong coordination between commissions I.3 and V.5. Create within 2 years a unified Commission on Electrochemistry in the Analytical Division (V), according to the procedure outlined in section 1.1.4.
2.1.4 Making Commission V.1 on general aspects of Analytical Chemistry, the major commission for dealing with all aspects of quality control, integrating with it. The Working Group on Harmonization of Quality Insurance Schemes in Analytical Laboratories. Work of Commission II.4 (Isotope Specific Measurements) dealing with tractability of analytical data based on isotope measurements.
2.2 Division Activities
2.2.1 Reduction of number of TMs in each commission and in Division Committee.
2.2.2 Increase number of TM for Division pool
2.2.3 New mission-oriented projects will be guided by the Division Committee or by a designated commission.

II.3.2 Macromolecular Division (IV)
An important consequence of the principle of closing gaps, i.e., (A3) in the context of materials and issue (B1) of section II, is the extension of the scope of activities of Division IV to encompass chemistry of materials. This extension of activities of Division IV will enhance both the scientific and the mission-oriented dimension of its contributions.

It is recommended:

  1. To change the name of Division IV to Materials and Macromolecular Chemistry Division.
  2. To formulate a program for the activities of the division in the area of material science.
  3. To suggest the consolidation of existing activities of IUPAC within the framework of material science.

In September 1996 the President of Division (IV) was asked to address these issues. The response of the President of Division (IV) (see Addendum on VP-DP correspondence) was:

1. Response to recommendations of VP.
1.1 Include "Materials" in Division name.
1.2 Incorporate the following existing activities of IUPAC within the Division: Commission II.3 on High Temperature Materials and Solid State Chemistry. Commission I.6 on Colloid and Surface Chemistry, including Catalysis.

2. Division Activities.
2.1 Allocate Division funds by the DP.

3. IUPAC Missions.
3.1 Monographs on existing polymer technologies will broaden access and applicability of chemically related technologies.
3.2 Planning a program for education in materials chemistry in developing countries.
3.3 Proposal for "peace corps" program in developing countries.

II.3.3 Inorganic Chemistry Division (II) and Organic Chemistry Division (III).
The activities of the Inorganic Chemistry Division and the Organic Chemistry Division have to respond to the principles of interdisciplinary unification, issues (A1)-(A3) and closing gaps in the area of biological chemistry, i.e., issue (B2).

In September 1996 the Presidents of Divisions (II) and (III) were asked to respond to the following issues:

  1. The erosion of boundaries between inorganic, organic and biological chemistry. How should these developments reflect on the future structure and activities of the Division?
  2. IUPAC did not sufficiently contribute in the past to Biological Chemistry. How should the extension of activities in this important area reflect on the future structure and activities of the Division?

The response of the Presidents of Divisions (II) and (III) (see addendum on correspondence of VP with DPs) was:

1. President of Division of Inorganic Chemistry (II).
1.1 Response to recommendations of VP.
1.1.1 The Division maintains core activities in atomic weights revision and nomenclature development.
1.1.2 The unique activities of Division (II) and reluctance to see the merging of traditional disciplines of chemistry leads to a strong objection to combine Division (II) with any other, least of all with Division (III).
1.1.3 Put effort into inter-divisional activities, perhaps through joint commissions (e.g., organometallic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry jointly with biochemistry).
1.2 Division Activities
1.2.1 Membership in Committees and Commissions be determined by function and not length of service of members.
1.2.2 Membership of Division Committee should be restricted to five members, including the Officers.
1.2.3 Commission Chairs helping to plan and evaluate entire division programs and funding.
1.2.4 Control of Division of TM funds.
1.2.5 Commission membership to be defined by function.
1.3 IUPAC Mission.
1.3.1 Rigid structure and complex organization of IUPAC.
1.3.2 The slow work of the Union precludes a timely response to urgent demands.
1.3.3 Retain current division structure but also modify the frontiers between the divisions, so flexibility is established.
1.3.4 Reorganization needs free resources so that they can be rapidly and effectively redeployed.
1.3.5 Set a minimal number of Division Committee members.
1.3.6 The President should be provided with a Bureau which can respond quickly to initiatives.

2. President of Division of Organic Chemistry (III).
2.1 Response to recommendations of VP.
2.1.1 Change name of Division (III) to "Division of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry".
2.1.2 Establish a suitable liaison between Bioorganic chemistry and relevant activities in Physical Chemistry Division (Commission of Biophysical Chemistry) and Inorganic Chemistry Division (working group on Bioinorganic chemistry).
2.1.3 Willingness to incorporate Commission on Biotechnology in Division (III). 2.2 Division Activities.
2.2.1 Existence of Organic Chemistry Division is essential.
2.2.2 Broad cooperation with other Divisions on new and ongoing projects.
2.2.3 Do not create new commissions. Transfer subcommissions into task forces.
2.3 IUPAC Missions.
2.3.1 Maintain nomenclature activities.
2.3.2 Upgrade quality of IUPAC sponsored conferences.

It is recommended:

  1. To extend the activities of IUPAC in the area of Biological Chemistry. Emphasis on the unique contributions of Chemistry to Biology will be highlighted by referring to this area as "Biomolecular Chemistry".
  2. An integrated framework of activities in Biomolecular Chemistry should be maintained, avoiding the splitting into bioinorganic and bioorganic chemistry.
  3. The Division of Organic Chemistry (III) should assume primary responsibility for the planning and execution of projects in Biomolecular Chemistry.
  4. To form an Interdivisional Working Party on Biomolecular Chemistry, which will be organized by the Divison of Organic Chemistry.
  5. To establish strong coordination between the Interdivisional Working Party on Biomolecular Chemistry and relevant activities in the Divisions of Inorganic Chemistry (II), Physical Chemistry (I) and Chemistry and Human Health (VII).
  6. The newly reconstituted Commission on Biotechnology should be transferred to the Division of Organic Chemistry (III) at the end of the next biennium.
  7. In recognition of this lead responsibility in the important area of Biological Chemistry the name of Division III should be changed at the end of the next biennium to "Division of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry".

II.3.4 Chemistry and Environment Division (VI)
Division (VI) is in initial formative stages. In September 1996 the Division President was asked to advance proposals regarding the structure and activity of the Division, pertaining to the restructuring of the Division and changes in the structure of the commissions. The DP was also asked to consider allocation of internal resources, planning of projects and appointment of Titular Members. The response of the DP (see Addendum on VP-DPs correspondence) addresses:

1. Modes of Division Activities.
1.1 The Division is in the stage of organization, with insufficient coordination and integration between the commissions. The DP asks the corresponding members to act as an interface between the Division Committee and the Commissions.
1.2 It is highly desirable that Division members could meet twice a year.
1.3 The activities of existing commissions are broad, however, not all commissions are equally strong. It is proposed to establish a Commission on Fundamental Environmental Chemistry.
1.4 TMs and AMs should be appointed when the project has been approved. Have a smaller number of TMs in each commission with a division reserve of TMs. Consider to reduce the number of members of Division Commission. Reevaluate the role of NR's.
1.5 Establish modes of cooperation between Division (VI) and other divisions. Form interdivision coordination groups to integrate environmentally relevant activities of the entire Union.
1.6 Collaboration between Division (VI) and COCI was initiated and a closer collaboration with the CHEMRAWN Committee is considered.
1.7 Selective response to outside needs (e.g., environmental preservation and capacity building in areas of transition) will be adopted in collaboration with WHO, UNEP, ICSU and UNESCO, among others.
1.8 Division (VI) is interested in various kinds of outreach programs and symposia/workshops with regional organizations.

2. IUPAC Missions.
2.1 IUPAC has to respond to worldwide undertakings for successful global sustainable development, by accelerating fundamental chemical research in innovative areas and by encouraging new processes to reduce energy and raw material use.
2.2 Critical evaluation of the activities of IUPAC by the NAOs and national chemical organizations will be beneficial for the future of the Union.

II.3.5 Chemistry and Human Health Division (VII)
Division (VII) is in its initial formative stages. The Division had already established collaboration with WHO. Establishing ties with such an external important international body contributes significantly to the mission-oriented goals of the Division.

In September 1996 the Division President was asked to advance proposals regarding the structure and function of the Division, pertaining to the integration of internal activities, eliminating internal duplication, the optimization of resources and the activities of Titular Members. In response the DP (see Addendum of VP-DPs correspondence) addressed a Mission statement, activities of the DP and a proposal for the Division Committee structure.

(1) Mission Statement for Division of Chemistry and Human Health (DCHH).
DCHH will act as a focus of activities concerning the relationships of chemistry to human health within the Union. It will collaborate with other Divisions whose responsibilities concern health issues; in particular, the Division of Chemistry and the Environment.

DCHH will be responsible for the Union's collaboration with governmental and non-governmental agencies (UNESCO, WHO, etc) in health-related matters, through the provision of advice and expertise and participation in joint activities.

DCHH will represent the special needs of Clinical and Medicinal Chemistry within the Union in areas such as nomenclature, quantities and units, education and training, through collaboration with IDCNS and CTC, and by establishing and managing Commissions and Working Parties to deal with specific Clinical and Medicinal Chemistry issues.

(2) Suggested Division Committee Structure for the Division of Chemistry and Human Health.

Division President
Vice-president (President elect)
Committee members-at-large (chosen to represent the special needs of disciplines of Clinical and Medicinal Chemistry, while assisting in furthering Divisional objectives).

Committee functions:
To further the mission of the Division by:

    • identifying issues to be addressed;
    • setting up and managing Commissions and Working Parties to address these issues;
    • managing activity-related budgets.

It is recommended to approve the mission statement and the Division Committee structure for the Division of Chemistry and Human Health.


Back to the Index - Next Item

Home - News & Notices - Organizations & People - Standing Committees - Divisions
Projects - Reports - Publications - Symposia/Conferences - Links - AMP

Page last modified 29 December 1999.
Copyright © 1999 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Questions or comments about IUPAC
please contact the Secretariat.
Questions regarding the website
please contact Web Help.