30 No. 1
IUPAC in Torino, Italy—Part II
The 41st IUPAC World Chemistry Congress, which had the theme of “Chemistry Protecting Health, Natural Environment, and Cultural Heritage,” was held at the Lingotto Conference Center in Torino, Italy, 5–11 August 2007. The Congress, which was co-organized by the Italian Chemical Society, the National Research Council of Italy, the University of Turin, and the Polytechnic of Turin, is an international scientific conference that meets concurrently with the General Assembly, the meetings of the governing bodies and committees of IUPAC.
The Congress <www.iupac2007.org> attracted approximately 2 000 attendees from around the world. Plenary lectures were given by the following eminent chemists:
- Roald Hoffmann (Nobel laureate, Cornell University, USA), “Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium”
- Kurt Wüthrich (Nobel laureate, ETH, Switzerland), “Protein Structure Biology Using NMR—At the Interface of Chemistry and Biology”
- Jan Wouters (Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Belgium), “Reflections on the Position of Chemistry in Multidisciplinary Approaches, Aiming at Protecting Cultural Heritage” (See related feature)
- Robert Huber (Nobel laureate, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Germany), “Proteins and their Structures for Basic Science and Application in Medicine”
- Akira Fujishima (Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology, Japan), “The Increasing Contribution of Photocatalysis to Comfort and Safety in the Urban Environment”
- Vincenzo Balzani (University of Bologna, Italy), “Molecular Devices and Machines”
|Plenary lecturer Kurt Wüthrich (left) and Francesco De Angelis, co-chair of the Congress International Advisory Board and president of the Italian Chemical Society.
A follow-up to Hoffmann’s lecture was the premiere performance of his new play Should’ve during the opening session of the Congress. The fully staged production of the play, which explores ethics through the intersecting worlds of science and art, was presented by the Should Have Theatre, an independent professional theater company hosted by The King’s University College of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The play featured Michele Brown as Katie Wertheim, Maralyn Ryan as Julia Hollander, and Robert Clinton as Stefan Cardenas. Peter Mahaffy (The King’s University College), chair of the Committee on Chemistry Education, served as the liaison between IUPAC and the production team, which included his son Reuben, who was videographer and projection designer.
See Division Roundups for brief accounts of division and standing committee meetings at the GA.
Additional coverage of the IUPAC GA/Congress appears in the
Nov-Dec 2008 CI.
In another significant event, the City of Torino and IUPAC held an evening meeting at the Gallery of Modern Art in memory of Primo Levi, Turinese writer, chemist, and Jew, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of his death. Recollections of Levi were expressed by people who knew him and had worked with him, and through a film. Roald Hoffmann, himself a Holocaust survivor, offered a very moving tribute to the works of Levi, who survived internment at Auschwitz, and the impact they had on his own teaching and writing.
Invited and contributed oral and poster presentations at the Congress were made within 10 topical groups: environment, health, cultural heritage, materials and nanotechnology, theoretical and computer chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic and polymer chemistry, biological and biophysical chemistry, and chemical education.
The next IUPAC Congress and General Assembly will be held 1–9 August 2009, in Glasgow, Scotland. If you wish to look further ahead, Puerto Rico will be the venue of the Congress and General Assembly from 30 July–7 August 2011.
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