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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 75, No. 10, p. iv (2003)

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Vol. 75, Issue 10

IUPAC Polymer Conference on the Mission and Challenges of Polymer Science and Technology (IUPAC PC2002),
Kyoto, Japan, 2-5 December 2002

> link to conference calendar

Polymer chemistry and physics are facing a new era, changing from simple polymers to more sophisticated (polymer-based) systems. The importance of polymer science and technology is expected to grow even further. It already interacts with most areas of chemistry, and new developments are expected, especially involving life sciences and materials physics.

The IUPAC Polymer Conference on the Mission and Challenge of Polymer Science and Technology (IUPAC PC2002) was held as the first strategic conference of IUPAC ’s Macromolecular Division (MMD), in order to figure out the present stage of polymer science and technology and clarify their mission and challenges in the future. This conference was planned as a part of the activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan, and cosponsored by IUPAC ’s Macromolecular Division and the Science Council of Japan.

The scientific program consisted of 4 plenary lectures, 6 scientific sessions (including 42 invited lectures, 33 oral, and 577 poster presentations), and a panel discussion concluding the conference and discussing the role and activities of IUPAC ’s Macromolecular Division among the world polymer community.

The program covered all areas of macromolecular chemistry and was arranged into six sessions from a strategic viewpoint: (1) polymer concepts in chemistry, physics, and biology; (2) frontiers of polymer science; (3) advanced and emerging polymer technologies; (4) state of the art in “biopolymers”; (5) polymers and the environment; and (6) commodity polymers and the world economy.

The traditional, basic molecular concepts of polymer science can be summarized as being based on polymer chains with single covalent backbone bonds, the flexibilities of those chains, and average properties of distributions of molecular species. However, developments in biology and physics as well as the chemistry of small molecules are causing the introduction of new concepts into polymer science, e.g., macromolecules with shape persistence in contrast to flexibility, precision polymerizations leading to properties defined for single polymer species rather than distributions of species, and polymers with weak interactions or conjugated bonds in addition to polymers with single covalent bonds.

A keynote article in the present issue prepared by Bob Stepto et al.highlights and summarizes the mission and challenges of the present stage of polymer science and technology based on lectures and discussion during scientific sessions and the concluding panel discussion. The article also reviews briefly the historical development and recent advances of polymer science and technology, and explains why the first strategic polymer conference was organized. Three plenary lectures by Dennis Torchia, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, and Masao Doi, published in the present issue,present important recent topics in biology, chemistry, and physics, respectively, suggesting new challenges for polymer scientists. In addition, most of the invited lectures of the conference will be published in a special volume (Vol. 201) of Macromolecular Symposia, Wiley-VCH.

The chairpersons of the Organizing Committee, Program Committee, and Local Committee of the Conference were Seiichi Nakahama, Yoshio Okamoto, and Hitoshi Yamaoka, respectively. The next Strategic Polymer Conference of IUPAC’s Macromolecular Division is planned in 2005 in New York under the leadership of Kalle Levon, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

Kazuyuki Horie
Conference Coeditor
Vice Chairperson of Organizing Committee

International Advisory Committee:
A. Abe (Japan), M. Aizawa (Japan), P. de Gennes (France), J.M.J. Fréchet (USA), R.G. Gilbert (Australia), J.-I. Jin (Korea), T. Masuda (Japan), R. Noyori (Japan), H. Shirakawa (Japan), R.F.T. Stepto (UK), A. Wada (Japan), F. Wang (China), G.Wegner (Germany), W.J. Work (USA).


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