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Number: 2002-061-1-020

Title: Frontiers of chemical sciences: research and education in middle eastern countries

Task Group
: Zafra M. Lerman and John M. Malin

William F. Carroll, Mostafa El-Sayed, Ernest L. Eliel, Robin Hood, Morton Z. Hoffman, V. J. Shiner, Thomas J. Spiro, and P H. L. Walter

Completion Date: 2004


  1. To use the vehicle of a small symposium to bring together scientists from a number of countries in the Middle East in order to identify unique opportunities for collaboration among chemical scientists to solve environmental and educational problems.
  2. To attempt, via this symposium, to generate trust among the scientists and to capture the attention of adversarial national governments on ways that chemistry can address the problems of the region.

The chemical sciences occupy a central position in the world economy, offering the possibility to cultivate mutual understanding through joint research projects and economic development. A general desire to improve the quality of life and political stability in the Middle East could be fulfilled by identifying unique opportunities for network creation and collaboration among chemical scientists to solve environmental and educational problems.

The American Chemical Society has organized a symposium entitled "Frontiers of Chemical Sciences: Research and Education" and including representatives from the United States and Middle Eastern nations including Egypt, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

A principal goal of the Symposium was to capture the attention of national governments by inviting the best-qualified chemical scientists from those countries to discuss how chemistry can address the problems of the region. To that end, the organizers have enlisted six Nobel Prize winners eager to participate as plenary lecturers and conferees. They are: Dr. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Dr. Roald Hoffmann, Dr. Yuan T. Lee, Dr. Mario Molina, Dr. Jean-Marie Lehn, and Dr. Ahmed Zewail. The opportunity to interact with this eminent panel attracted distinguished scientists from Middle Eastern nations who are, in turn, in the strongest position to influence national policy in their own countries and to help develop international collaborations.

Acknowledgements. The work of the organizing committee is gratefully acknowledged. The committee consists of Dr. Zafra Lerman, Chair, and Drs. Paul H.L. Walter, William F. Carroll, Jr., Ernest Eliel, Mostafa El-Sayed, Morton Z. Hoffman, Robin Hood, Stanley Langer, John Malin, Nina McClelland, Bassam Shakhashiri, Jack Shiner, Thomas Spiro, and Omar Yaghi.
Also acknowledged are contributions from Columbia College Chicago, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society, The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., UNESCO, IUPAC, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr. Alfred R. Bader, Mrs. Beatrice Friedman, Dr. Vernon J. Shiner, Dr. Michael Strem, the Susman and Asher Foundation, Ms. Sharon Oberlander, Dr. William F. Carroll, Jr., the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz, Germany, Dr. Howard G. Clark and Mr. Michael Rose.

See report - "MIDDLE EASTERNERS MEET IN MALTA. Chemistry symposium aims to forge scientific links in a troubled region", by M. Freemantle, C&EN Dec 15, 2003, p. 10 >online

> A follow-up feature article has been published in Chem. Int. May-June 2004, p. 7.

project completed


Last update: 18 May 2004


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