34 No. 3
If what IUPAC does, or tries to do, is of interest to you, or if you ever ask yourself “How does IUPAC achieve consensus on a particular issue?” please take note: The call for nominations for the 2014–2015 elections has been issued, with a deadline of 31 July 2012 (see article).
The opportunity to present yourself as a candidate for a specific committee only comes about once every two years. So, you might ask “What is the role of a member on a so-called division, commission, or committee?” The Statutes of IUPAC say that: “The scientific work of the Union shall be undertaken by the Divisions . . . which shall represent within the Union the branches of chemistry . . . .” Practically, each committee is somewhat different, but members can expect to assist with strategy development, help formulate and solicit new projects, identify task groups, evaluate new proposals, and review and disseminate project outcomes. All these tasks, and more, are shared by committee members. Members also monitor current trends and emerging needs in chemistry, providing valuable feedback to the Union. Now, the best way to find out for yourself is simply to ask a member what he/she does and how well that fits with his/her career.
Becoming a member of IUPAC means that you become part of an international community. As a member, you have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the national organization that represents your country within IUPAC, called National Adhering Organizations (NAOs). Because of IUPAC’s international nature, national diversity among and within IUPAC committees is a key ingredient for success. Your participation in IUPAC committees can strengthen your NAO; likewise, active NAOs strengthen IUPAC. In addition, as a committee member you might have the opportunity to become a representative for the NAO for your country.
In the May 2011 Officer’s Column,1 former Secretary General David StC. Black wrote about how the Union needs members who can proactively contribute ideas and help IUPAC fulfill its global goals. This is a recurring challenge and each biennium, the elections provide an opportunity to engage new members in sharing their views. So, at this time, let the title of Black’s column resonate loud and clear: “Go Forth and Nominate!”
last modified 30 April 2012.
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