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Vol. 30 No. 6
November-December 2008

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

Polymers at the Frontiers of Science and Technology

by Christopher K. Ober

MACRO 2008—the 42nd World Polymer Congress—was held in Taipei from 29 June to 4 July 2008. The general theme of Polymers at the Frontiers of Science and Technology was well suited to the rapid developments taking place in the host country. This congress, chaired by Show-An Chen, was held at the excellent facilities of the Taipei International Convention Center in downtown Taipei, near the 101 Center, the world’s tallest building. Almost 1 200 scientists (over half from the host country) from 41 countries participated in the conference and the total number of presentations, including posters was over 1 250. After the host country, the majority of attendees came from Japan and Korea. Unfortunately, not all countries in Asia with a large polymer science community were well represented.

There were 10 plenary speakers including Nobel Laureates Yuan T. Lee and Robert Grubbs, as well as Sheng-Hsien Lin, Craig Hawker, Klaus Müllen, Alexei Khokhlov, Timothy Lodge, Stephen Z.D. Cheng, Toyoki Kunitake, E.W. Meijer, and Michael Buback. All gave outstanding talks to a packed auditorium. The conference offered as many as 10 parallel sessions covering the key topics of polymer science.

Left to right: Rong-Ming Ho (NTHU), Jien-Lien Lin (ITRI), Wen-Chang Chen (NTU), Show-An Chen (NTHU), Christopher Ober (Cornell Univ.), Chih-Yang
Chao (NTU), and An-Chung Su (NTHU)

The International Young Polymer Scientist Symposium was held for the first time. Organized by Chi-Yang Chao, Dennis Smith, Todd Emrick, and Fuyuhiko Kubota, this meeting was the result of cooperation between IUPAC and the Polymer and PMSE Divisions of the American Chemical Society. Some of the finest younger polymer scientists from around the world were invited to speak at this symposium. Support for the event came from the Samsung Fund and Toyobo.

Of special note at this conference were the presentation of three awards recognizing excellence by polymer chemists, two of them given for the first time. The DSM Performance Materials Award (in cooperation with IUPAC) was presented to Craig Hawker for his brilliant work in applying fundamental polymer chemistry to practical problems. The 50 000 Euro prize was combined with a plenary talk and a symposium including world renowned speakers.

During the closing ceremonies, the Polymer-International-IUPAC Award for mid-career polymer scientists was presented to Zhenan Bao (see July-August CI). She gave a short overview of her exciting work in organic electronics.

The Samsung-IUPAC Young Polymer Scientist Award was given to Eric Cloutet of the University of Bordeaux, France, for his outstanding efforts in polymer synthesis. Hong-Shik Ko, president of the Samsung-Total Co., participated in the award ceremony. Finally, the IUPAC poster prizes were awarded to Satoshi Akasaka (Kyoto University), Kyuhyun Im (Pohang University of Science and Technology), and Nicolas Nouvel (Cambridge University). The PST Poster Prizes were presented to Yung-Jin Weng (National Taiwan University), Gudrun Schmidt-Naake (TU Clausthal), and Kotato Koike (Keio University).

Chris Ober <cober@ccmr.cornell.edu> is a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is president of the IUPAC Polymer Division and a member of the subcommittees on polymer terminology, polymer education, and developing polymer materials.


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