25 No. 1
January - February 2003
F. T. Stepto
Networks 2002, the 16th Polymer Networks Group Meeting,
was held 2 to 6 September 2002 in Autrans, France, near Grenoble.
It was organized under the auspices of IUPAC by the Polymer
Networks Group, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique,
and the Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble. Ninety-seven
active participants, of whom 20 were students, attended the
conference. Notably, the conferees came from 22 countries,
showing the worldwide appeal of this specialized conference.
The conference chairman was
Professor Erik Geissler of the Laboratoire de Spectrométrie
Physique at the Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble.
Financial support was gratefully received from the Ministère
de la Recherche, France, the Commissariat à lEnergie
Atomique, the Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble,
the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Région
Rhône-Alpes, and Nestlé, Switzerland.
The conference was held in
the Maeva Centre at Autrans, a purpose-built conference center
in beautiful surroundings in the Vercors National Park. The
conference facilities, accommodations, and catering were excellent.
The social program included a musical evening in Autrans village
church, with an outstanding performance of Mozart, Grieg,
Mendelssohn, and Ravel by the Armaiti wind quintet. The program
for accompanying persons consisted of a trip through the spectacular
Gorges de la Bourne, with a visit to the Grottes de Choranche,
and to the picturesque town of Pont en Royans.
The conference was one of
a series of biennial conferences organized primarily by the
Polymer Networks Group. It maintained the tradition of presenting
papers of a high standard on subjects of present-day importance
and future potential, combining both fundamental studies and
applications. Indeed, the main theme of the meeting was Functional
Networks and Gels. The conference program consisted of 13
main lectures (40 minutes), 30 lectures (20 minutes), and
two poster sessions, covering 57 posters.
The conference began with
two main lectures: Eric Amis (NIST, USA) on Combinatorial
Chemistry Applied to Polymer Systems and M. W. Husseini (Université
Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg) on Molecular Tectonics as Building
Blocks for Solid Polymeric Materials. The functional network
topics were varied, covering amphiphilic, high-swelling networks
for use as super-absorbing materials; the encapsulation of
magnetic and conducting moieties in networks; the biological
application of reversible physical gels; and the biomedical
drug-release applications of microgels and nanogels, and thermally
and pH responsive hydrogels. There were also contributions
on filled and nanocomposite polymer network materials and
the formation and properties of thermally reversible gels.
The conference contained fundamental experimental, theoretical,
and modelling papers on the behavior of gels at interfaces,
microgels, polymeric network coatings, polymerization and
network formation, swelling in gels, and optical properties
of polymer networks.
The posters were of an excellent
standard and reflected the wide range of topics of the lectures.
Importantly, student registrants presented most of the posters
and the discussions at the poster sessions were very lively.
Refereed papers from the lectures
and posters will be published in a forthcoming volume of Macromolecular
Symposia. The next meeting in the series, Polymer Networks
2004, will be organized by Eric Amis and Ferenc Horkay and
will be held at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,
F. T. Stepto is a professor at the University of Manchester,
United Kingdom, and is president of the IUPAC Macromolecular
last modified 20 December 2002.
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