29 No. 2
Chemistry in Latin America
by Roberto Cao
|Alberto Nuñez (left), president of FLAQ and of the congress organizing committee, and Paulo César Vieira, past president of FLAQ.
Latin American Congress on Chemistry and VI International
Congress of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,
sponsored by IUPAC, was held 16–20 October 2006 in Havana,
Cuba. The congress is held every two years in a different
country by the Latin American Federation of Chemistry Associations
(FLAQ). The host of each biannual congress holds the presidency
of FLAQ for the following two years. The event attracted 906
scientists from 33 countries (of Latin America, Europe, USA,
Asia and Middle East), who gathered to discuss diverse aspects
of modern chemistry and the frontiers of the field in 15 plenary
lectures, 65 session lectures, 238 oral communications, and
The congress included three symposia: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Perspectives of Women in Chemistry, and Chemistry and Life Sciences. In addition, a workshop on natural products and a congress on biomaterials were offered.
At the opening ceremony, welcoming remarks were given by representatives of IUPAC, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), FLAQ, the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the UK Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Three Cuban chemists were presented with awards by the Cuban Chemical Society: María A. Chávez, Vicente Verez, and Reynaldo Villalonga.
opening lecture given by Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel laureate,
on “Architecture at Nanoscale Dimensions,” attracted
great attention and was received very warmly. Three other
plenary lecturers addressed different aspects of nanoscience:
Hector Abruña (USA), Roberto Cao (Cuba), and Robert
Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of this congress
was the attention given to this emerging new interdisciplinary
area. In fact, a section of the conference was dedicated to
An important topic for Latin America, natural products, was
analyzed by Alberto Nuñez, Cuba. New approaches in
organic chemistry were discussed by Eusebio Juaristi (México);
Margarita Suárez (Cuba), and IUPAC Past President Leiv
Sydnes (Norway). A novel view of representative inorganic
chemistry was addressed by Raymundo Cea, México. Education
in chemistry received special attention, with a plenary lecture
by Peter Atkins, UK. Medicinal chemistry was covered by Simon
Campbell, past-president of RSC. Ann Nalley, president of
ACS, delivered a lecture on the characteristics of science
in the USA in 2006.
The areas of biochemistry and molecular biology were widely
covered by the plenary lectures of Vito Turk of IUBMB (Slovenia),
María A. Chávez (Cuba), André Menez (France),
and by many other presentations.
At the end of the congress, Paulo César Vieira (Brazil),
past-president of FLAQ, announced that the new president of
FLAQ would be Alberto Nuñez, president of the Cuban
Chemical Society and chairman of the organizing committee
of the congress. Irma Castro is the new co-chairperson of
the organization. The representatives of the different chemical
associations agreed that this congress had the highest scientific
level of any organized by FLAQ.
Roberto Cao <email@example.com> is a professor at the University of Havana, and is active in the International Affairs section of the Cuban Chemical Society.
last modified 16 April 2007.
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