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Vol. 28 No. 5
September-October 2006

From the Editor

image of Fabienne MeyersA good portion of conferences and scientific symposia take place during July and August, which is no surprise since many scientists organizing and participating in these events must operate by academic calendars. The summer break in the Northern hemisphere—mirrored to some extent with the winter recess in the Southern hemisphere—provides a relatively short time window in which to meet. With so many summer conferences competing for attendees, one must choose carefully. While some conference goers may be swayed by which site has the better beach, an important factor to consider is IUPAC sponsorship. Since one of its goals is to facilitate scientific discussions, IUPAC has for many years sponsored scientific conferences. The granting of such sponsorship is based on multiple criteria, including scientific quality, significance, geographic and overall diversity of speakers, and evidence of sufficient advance planning. While the IUPAC stamp of approval can be a helpful guide, there are many intangible factors that are harder to judge. For example, the suitability of the chairmen of each session can have a great impact on the outcome of symposia.

If you attended a conference recently, you certainly remember the not so good session chairman, and yet you probably forgot who was the good one. With a good deal of humor, Roger Fenwick and Leiv Sydnes review what it really takes to be a good chairman (see page 4). What they write may seem like common sense to some, but potential session chairmen would do well to take their jolly reminders to heart. If you have good (or bad or funny) stories that you would like to share with us, please don't be shy. This is not a contest for best session chairman, and sharing good practices is a simple service to the scientific community.

As the high season for scientific conferences and symposia comes to an end, I hope that your meeting experiences were good, enjoyable, and fruitful.

Fabienne Meyers
fabienne@iupac.org
www.iupac.org/publications/ci

PS: Plea to conference organizers: Please review the calendar of IUPAC-sponsored conferences starting on page 43, or on the web at www.iupac.org/symposia. If you are planning an IUPAC event not listed in these pages, please contact the secretariat at <secretariat@iupac.org>.


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